Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders has missed the last four games with a back injury. When will he be able to finally return to the basketball court and help the team win?
Sanders decided to get a second medical opinion on his bruised back because the pain is not going away even though a bone scan did not show a fracture. He clearly wants to get to the bottom of what is causing the agony and how long it will take before he can start playing again.
“I’m not feeling that much better so we’ll see,” Sanders said. “It’s a really deep (bruise) so I’m going to get another opinion on it. I’ve never had one that really bothered me like this before.”
It is unknown if the 6-foot-11 Sanders will be able to play Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets as he is officially listed as day-to-day. Obviously, the Bucks are hoping that he will be able to suit up sooner than later because they desperately need one of their top players in uniform in order to get a proper start to the second half of the NBA season.
“It’s tough right now with just Sam (Dalembert) out there and Ekpe (Udoh) is coming in for him,” head coach Jim Boylan said. “We miss Larry in the rotation. We don’t want to put too many minutes on Sam. I don’t know if he’s quite ready for that yet.
“He’s still working his way into big-minutes shape. Not having Larry around forces us to push him (Dalembert) a little bit.”
Center Samuel Dalembert has missed his fair share of games already this season with an injury as well, which means Milwaukee could potentially be very thin at the position if both men are unable to go.
Sanders is one player the Bucks can simply not live without as I believe he was the Most Valuable Player on the team for the first half of the season. His defensive skills are incredible, especially his ability to block shots on a consistent basis (NBA leading 3.2 per game), and he is also a threat around the basket on offense. That fact that Milwaukee has a 2-5 record without him in the lineup speaks for itself, as the team needs his athleticism in the middle to keep opposing teams off guard.
Sanders is averaging career numbers across the board this season with 8.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor.