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News » Redd takes big step Recovery seems almost complete

Redd takes big step Recovery seems almost complete

Redd takes big step  Recovery seems almost complete By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Michael Redd stepped back on the Bradley Center floor Saturday for the first time since Jan. 24, when he crumpled to the court after tearing ligaments in his left knee.

The occasion was only an intrasquad scrimmage for the Milwaukee Bucks , not a real game.

But it still was a huge step for Redd, who scored 18 points while showing little rust as the Bucks players performed for an enthusiastic crowd of 5,864.

"I was a little nervous, to be honest with you," said Redd, whose White team beat the Black team, 54-46. "I felt comfortable and just played. I'm a little sore right now, which is natural, but I felt good playing again."

Redd scored the first two points for the White, converting a layup off an assist from Ersan Ilyasova, and ended the first quarter with a long three-pointer, giving him 11 points.

He ended up playing 12 productive minutes while hitting 7 of 9 shots, including 2 of 4 from three-point range.

"People kept asking me, 'How are you going to be?' I'd rather just show it rather than say how I'm going to play," Redd said.

It also marked Andrew Bogut's first game at the Bradley Center since Jan. 31, when he was shut down for the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in his lower back.

The 7-foot Bogut had five points and five rebounds while playing 8 minutes.

"You walk away from a day like today and say a few positive things happened out there, but nothing more positive than seeing Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut on the floor," said Bucks general manager John Hammond.

The starters for the White team were Redd, Bogut, Ilyasova, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Luke Ridnour. Rookie Brandon Jennings started at point guard for the Black team but later switched to the White squad while Roko Ukic ran the point position for the Black.

Jennings had six points and four turnovers in 24 minutes.

"We're trying to impress upon him (Jennings) that this isn't a performance; this is a fistfight," coach Scott Skiles said. "We're not here to look good. We're trying to win games.

"He hasn't been through anything like this in his life, with this type of intensity. He'll be fine."

Rookie guard Jodie Meeks had a tough time hitting his shots, finishing 1 of 8 for the Black team. Ilyasova was just 3 of 13 but passed well and finished with eight points, four rebounds and two assists.

"I thought it was good all the way around," Skiles said. "Sometimes I've been involved in these things where they can really get away from you, the fans' scrimmage. You look disorganized and nobody's paying attention.

"But the guys had good focus, moved the ball well and tried to execute on both ends."

The Bucks left immediately after the scrimmage for Minnesota, where they will open the preseason Sunday against the Timberwolves in Mankato.

"We won't have big minutes on anybody tomorrow," Skiles said. "I'm looking forward to getting a gauge of exactly where we are."

Skiles did indicate that Ridnour would be the starting point guard against the Timberwolves. Ridnour contributed four points, two assists and two steals in 19 minutes with the White team in the scrimmage.

Ridnour is trying to bounce back from an injury-plagued first season with the Bucks , when he made 50 starts and played in 72 games. He was troubled by back issues early in the season and later suffered a fractured right thumb.

"We feel like Luke has played the best so far and deserves that chance," Skiles said of starting. "He's looked good every day. He came into camp in great shape.

"He's got a much higher comfort level with the stuff we're doing after playing here for a year. He's playing well."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: October 5, 2009


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