Bucks expect to have Ersan Ilyasova, Caron Butler back vs. Cavs
The injury-plagued Bucks are expected to have Ersan Ilyasova and Caron Butler back for Wednesday's game.
By ANDREW GRUMANFS Wisconsin
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- The
Milwaukee Bucks appear to be getting two key players back for Wednesday's game against Portland, as power forward
Ersan Ilyasova and small forward
Caron Butler both practiced for the second straight day.
Ilyasova and Butler are both listed as probable to play against the Trail Blazers, while point guard Brandon Knight is still doubtful after participating in half of Tuesday's practice.
Seemingly getting two players back and losing two more, the Bucks will have game-time decisions on guard Gary Neal and center Zaza Pachulia. Neal, who missed Monday's practice, tried to go Tuesday but had to leave halfway through when his plantar fasciitis flared up and became too painful.
Pachulia missed Tuesday's practice with flu-like symptoms and will need to feel better to play against Portland.
"That's been the trend thus far," Bucks coach Larry Drew said of getting guys back but losing others. "Hopefully one day we'll get everyone back. I think we're starting to move in that direction. We're getting Ersan back, Brandon was out there running around, hopefully it will just move to where we get everyone back."
Ilyasova has missed Milwaukee's last six games with a sprained right ankle and hasn't played since the home opener Nov. 2. After practice in full the past two days, Ilyasova is confident he'll be able to play Wednesday.
"I'm close to 100 percent but still a little bit sore," Ilyasova said. "I have to work on my conditioning, but I feel much better and am looking forward to try to play the next game.
"Those first two practices I wanted to see where I was at and where I stood pain wise. I feel much better."
Ilyasova sprained his ankle in Milwaukee's preseason opener Oct. 8 in Cleveland and missed the rest of the exhibition season. He returned to play in the first three games of the regular season, but feels he may have rushed back before he was ready.
"In that situation I kind of felt like I had to just try to play in the first (three) games because we had a lot of guys injured at the time," Ilyasova said. "I remember the first game in New York, I kind of twisted my ankle multiple times and it got worse. It was good to have these days to recover and just get stronger."
Though he's missed a significant amount of practice time to learn Drew's system, Ilyasova is confident he can quickly jump into the mix without needing time to play catch up.
"I went through the whole training camp when we put the basics in," Ilyasova said. "Obviously there are a couple of new plays, but it's basketball. All you have to do is be consistent to be in the rotation with your teammates.
"We've struggled a little bit and a losing streak we need to end with our next game. It's a good opportunity for us. Portland is playing really well and is on a winning streak. We have to be stronger and try to win the game."