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News » Rested and ready Redd eager to play Saturday

Rested and ready Redd eager to play Saturday

Rested and ready  Redd eager to play Saturday By CHARLES F. GARDNER

St. Francis - Michael Redd is ready to try again.

This time the Milwaukee Bucks' 30-year-old shooting guard believes he is fully recovered from a left patella tendon strain, an injury he suffered in the second game of the season Oct. 31.

He missed nine games and briefly attempted a comeback in late November, but he lacked explosiveness and found it hard to jump. Redd went back on the inactive list for the last seven games.

But he will play off the bench in the Bucks' home game Saturday night against Portland after going through a full practice Friday at the Cousins Center.

"I went through a couple practices," Redd said of his regimen, which also included a full practice with his teammates Monday. "I had a lot more time to train and work on my leg, get it stronger.

"I'm not thinking about it (being idle so long). I'm just going to go play Basketball and try to help this team win. I'm not going to worry about the timing. Just go play."

Bucks coach Scott Skiles said Carlos Delfino would start at shooting guard against the Trail Blazers, who will be ending a four-game swing in Milwaukee.

"In the last 60 Bucks games or whatever it is, he hasn't played in many of them," Skiles said, referring to the anterior cruciate ligament surgery that kept Redd out for the final 35 games last season. "We'll bring him off the bench and see how it goes."

Redd showed during the preseason he had recovered from the ACL and medial collateral ligament injuries he suffered in January.

But the patella injury was similar to one he suffered in January 2007, and he struggled when he returned last month against San Antonio, New Orleans and Oklahoma City.

"I'm playing healthy and moving," he said. "You can't play at this level being 70% or 80%."

Redd clearly is thankful he is returning to the lineup.

But he wishes he could be on the floor Saturday with Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, the top pick in the 2007 draft and a summer workout partner of Redd's in Columbus, Ohio, where they both played for Ohio State.

Oden suffered a left patella fracture against Houston on Dec. 5 and underwent season-ending surgery Sunday.

"I hate that it happened to him," Redd said. "I just thank God that I'm not out for the rest of the season because of a patella tendon strain. I wish the best for him. I've tried to call him and just wish him well."

The Trail Blazers are coming off a Friday night game in Cleveland and will be playing in the second of a back-to-back set Saturday, while the Bucks finally will be rested.

Milwaukee had the day off Thursday after their 117-95 victory over Toronto Wednesday.

That concluded a 26-day, 15-game stretch, which tied the Bucks with Toronto for the most games over that span. The Bucks were 6-9 in the stretch that began with the Nov. 14 game against Golden State, when point guard Brandon Jennings had his electrifying 55-point performance.

Jennings did not practice Friday after suffering a hyperextended left knee in the third quarter against the Raptors. But Skiles said it was "precautionary" and he expected Jennings to be in the starting lineup against Portland.

The Bucks must contend with Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy, a two-time all-star, and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Both players form the nucleus of a young Portland team.

"He's very difficult to guard," Skiles said of the 6-foot-6 Roy. "You've got to keep him in front of you and try to make him shoot contested jump shots.

"He's very clever with the ball. He doesn't appear to be moving that fast out there but somehow gets by people at will. He's got a knack of getting people on the side of him and using his body.

"He can score and pass; he's a very good playmaker."

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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