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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