Bucks Monday: Larry Sanders has pin removed from thumb

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Bucks center Larry Sanders had
the pin removed from his surgically-repaired right thumb Monday and was fitted
for a splint.

The next step is to see how he
responds in the coming days and there’s still no timetable on his return.
Sanders said a few weeks ago that getting the pin out and the hard cast off
were big steps and the biggest remaining hurdles would be catching and holding
a basketball.

Sanders tore a tendon in his
right thumb during an altercation at a downtown Milwaukee nightclub on Nov. 3
and hasn’t played since. He underwent surgery on Nov. 11.

Butler remains out: After
already missing Milwaukee’s last six games, forward Caron Butler is expected to
be out another week-to-10 days with a swollen left knee.

Butler first felt pain in his
knee while boarding the team’s flight to Charlotte on Thanksgiving and swelling
had set in by the time the plane landed. He tried to loosen the knee up to play
against the Bobcats on Nov. 29 but couldn’t go and hasn’t played since.

“Being in this position,
being a captain on the ballclub and coming back to my hometown, and only
missing two or three games last year (while playing with the Clippers), now
missing so many early on, it’s frustrating,” Butler said. “But I have
to be patient and let the healing process play its course.”

While hopeful to be back in
another week, Butler is unsure when the swelling will go down and allow him to
return to action.

“Whenever I feel good,
I’ll be playing basketball,” Butler said. “Whenever I feel like
myself, I’ll be playing basketball.”

Neal’s injury flares up:
As if there wasn’t enough injury news Monday, Bucks guard Gary Neal sat out of
practice Monday and won’t make the trip to Chicago for Tuesday’s game due to
the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

The injury has bothered Neal since last season, but he’s
missed just one game because of the foot pain this year. Neal didn’t play
against Washington on Friday, but Drew said that was a coach’s decision. 

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