NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks assigned Khris Middleton to the Wisconsin Herd in the next step toward returning from injury

The Milwaukee Bucks assigned Khris Middleton to the Wisconsin Herd in the next step toward returning from injury

The Milwaukee Bucks assigned Chris Middleton i Wesley Matthews at the Wisconsin Herd on Monday. The move is another step for Middleton as he works his way back from offseason surgery. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Middleton was expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season with an offseason wrist injury.
  • He had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist after tearing his MCL in Game 2 of the first round.
  • Middleton missed the Bucks’ final 10 playoff games due to the injury.

background history

Middleton appears closer to making his regular season debut after recovering from wrist surgery. Middleton was recalled from the Wisconsin Herd of the G League earlier this month, but was sent down again on Monday.

Matthews will miss a third straight game Monday night with hamstring soreness. He will continue his rehabilitation with the Herd.

The Bucks face the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Milwaukee is 11-4 overall and 8-1 at home after falling short against the Philadelphia 76ers Friday.

What they are saying

Head coach Mike Budenholzer said Sunday that Middleton was “able to do a little bit” in the team’s most recent practice.

“He’s been making progress, probably steady and slow. Today was another good day. We’ll continue to see how he feels tomorrow. Hopefully, he can be doing a little bit more every day.”

Budenholzer said it’s not just the wrist that needs healing, but “everything.”

“You’ve got to be completely healthy, be conditioned and fit and all that stuff … he’s pushing it.”

How Middleton could help the Bucks offense

While the Bucks are 11-4 in their first 15 games this season, they have struggled offensively so far and getting Middleton back on the court could help significantly on that end of the court. After being a top-five offensive team last season, the Bucks are currently scoring just 109.3 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 23rd in the league. N.B.A.

Last year, in his third All-Star season, Middleton averaged 20.1 points and 5.4 assists per game. He’s obviously one of the Bucks’ best scorers, but he’s also been the Bucks’ primary pick-and-roll partner for Giannis Antetokounmpo, which has led to a series of easy buckets for the two-time MVP. Middleton’s return should make the offense flow much better.

What does Middleton have to do to get back?

Middleton’s left wrist was the injury that kept him off the floor, but Budenholzer made it clear Sunday that Middleton’s return to the lineup requires him to work on “everything” and specifically mentioned his conditioning and form. The Herd don’t play again until Saturday, so Middleton won’t suit up for the G-League, but practicing with the G-League team on Monday will give him a chance to get closer to the form of game and in his season debut.

Mandatory reading

(Photo: Benny Sieu / USA Today)





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