MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks certainly aren’t at full strength as they prepare to play the final two games of the regular season, but they will get one key player back for Monday’s regular season home finale against Denver.
Point guard Brandon Jennings will return to the starting lineup after missing the past two games with a sore Achilles’ tendon. Jennings left six minutes into Wednesday night’s overtime loss in Orlando and didn’t play against Atlanta and Charlotte over the weekend.
“He has two games here before the playoffs, so he has a chance to get himself back into a little bit of a game rhythm,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “(We’ll) take advantage of that and have him play these next two and have a couple days of practice to get ready for Miami.”
While Jennings is back, center Larry Sanders won’t play against the Nuggets and there’s a good chance he won’t play in Wednesday’s regular season finale in Oklahoma City.
Sanders suffered a hard fall while being fouled going up to the rim in the first quarter against the Magic and hasn’t played since with a sore lower back.
Boylan was asked if he expects Sanders to be close to 100 percent when the playoffs role around this weekend, but it’s too early to tell.
“It’s always a funny spot to kind of say, ‘Can you be 100 percent?’ ” Boylan said. ” . . . We’ve got our fingers crossed that by the time we finish the game in Oklahoma City and come back we can have him for some practices. That’s key for us to have a couple days of practice and preparation to get ready.”
It was the second hard fall on the tailbone and lower back Sanders has suffered this season, as he missed four games earlier this season after falling hard while trying to draw a charge on Denver’s Kenneth Faried.
Bucks guard Monta Ellis will play Wednesday night despite battling a flu bug. As if the Bucks weren’t banged up enough, forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is also battling the same illness.
“Doc said it has been going around,” Boylan said. “(Monta is) feeling better. He was terrible this morning but feeling better tonight. He came this morning and was terrible, so we sent him home.
“Luc has the same kind of thing. It’s kind of going around the team, I guess.”