Khris Middleton practices fully, Bucks gear up for playoffs

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says Khris Middleton practiced fully Thursday as the three-time All-Star works his way back from a sore right knee and prepares for the playoffs.

Middleton hasn’t played since the injury caused him to exit an April 5 victory over the Chicago Bulls. He missed 18 straight games due to right knee soreness from Dec. 17 through Jan. 21.

The injury is unrelated to the one that ended Middleton’s 2021-22 postseason early. He missed the Bucks’ final 10 playoff games last season due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Budenholzer also said guards Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton practiced on a limited basis as they both recover from sprained right ankles. Allen missed the Bucks’ final four regular-season games and Connaughton was out the last three.

“You want to be as healthy as you can,” Budenholzer said. “With all those guys, I think practicing is one of the steps and then seeing how you feel the next day and seeing how your body responds and everything is almost as important. It was a good day collectively. It was a good day for each of those guys. We’ll see how they respond, how they feel and continue to get ready for Sunday.”

The Bucks had the NBA’s best regular-season record to guarantee themselves home-court advantage throughout their playoff run. They open their first-round series Sunday at home against either the Bulls or the Miami Heat, who will face each other in a play-in game Friday at Miami. ___

AP NBA: and

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