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News » Straining to return Redd wants to play by end of homestand


Straining to return Redd wants to play by end of homestand


Straining to return  Redd wants to play by end of homestand By CHARLES F. GARDNER

St. Francis - Michael Redd likes what he sees from a young Milwaukee Bucks team early in the season.

But the veteran shooting guard would rather be watching less and playing more.

That time could come as soon as next week, Redd said Friday, if he continues to make progress after straining his left patella tendon two weeks ago.

"That's my goal, to get back out there and play," Redd said of returning during the six-game homestand. "We'll have some practice time maybe Sunday or Tuesday."

The Bucks are 3-1 in Redd's absence, and they will be without him again Saturday night when they meet the Golden State Warriors at the Bradley Center. But it's possible he could return to play against Dallas on Monday or New Jersey on Wednesday.

"I'm still training, still trying to get it right," Redd said. "Pretty much the same story.

"I'm doing a lot more dynamic movements, testing it and putting it in positions I would be if I was playing."

Bucks athletic trainer Marc Boff said Redd would continue to be evaluated on a regular basis by the training staff and team doctor Michael Gordon.

The good news is Redd's latest injury is nothing like the severe left patella tendon strain that sidelined him for six weeks during the 2006-'07 season. That injury came after Redd went up for a dunk late in a game against Cleveland, and the Bucks sagged to a 3-17 record while he was gone.

This time he injured his patella while making a right-handed dunk in the home opener against Detroit on Oct. 31.

"My legs are in better shape than they were then," Redd said, "and they received this easier than they did last time. It's a huge difference."

Redd also is coming off anterior cruciate ligament surgery on the same knee, but he had already passed that test by playing in all eight preseason games with no ill effects.

Then he suffered his latest setback, giving Charlie Bell a chance to move into the starting lineup and rookie Jodie Meeks an opportunity for some playing time.

Making it a bit easier for Redd is the way the team has played. The Bucks lost an 83-81 decision in Chicago in the first game without him, after squandering an 18-point third-quarter lead.

But they beat Minnesota and New York on back-to-back nights last weekend and held off the Denver Nuggets, 108-102, on Wednesday night with rookie point guard Brandon Jennings scoring 32 points and adding nine assists.

Center Andrew Bogut has excelled in the last four games, including a 23-point, 10-rebound effort against Denver.

"I'm loving it," Redd said. "We're playing hard. Obviously, defensively we're going to be there every night. I love the development of my young two guys, Jodie and Brandon. And Andrew is developing big-time."

Jennings was 11 of 19 from the field against Denver, and Redd said he told the 20-year-old just to "play his game" while going against Nuggets veteran Chauncey Billups.

"He has the ability to score better than I thought he could," Redd said. "I see a little bit of T.J. (Ford) and Mo (Williams) in him, with T.J.'s speed and Mo's scoring ability."

When Redd returns to the starting five, the Bucks might be forced to make some adjustments. But Jennings downplayed that notion.

"Once he gets back healthy, we'll keep rolling and try to keep pushing," Jennings said. "We'll keep the chemistry going and stay positive.

"Coach (Scott) Skiles told me, 'We need you to score this year.' Even with Michael coming back, I'll still try to get my shots as I can. Actually I might get more open looks with Michael being back because all the focus will be on those two (Bogut and Redd)."

And Jennings repeated that his focus is to get Bogut and Redd their shots early in games.

"Then other players around them can get their shots," Jennings said. "We'll be OK. I think we'll figure it out."

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: November 15, 2009

 

 
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