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Michael Redd Eyeing February Return

November 19, 2010

Coming off back-to-back knee surgeries, Bucks sharpshooter Michael Redd is getting ready to return in February. Redd is in the last year of a $18.3 million deal and wants to prove he is back and healthy.

From FanHouse:

MILWAUKEE — Michael Redd finally was back in Milwaukee on Thursday.

No, not in a Bucks uniform. But at least he was in the city and at least he finally can see a possible return date following two major knee injuries in the past two years.

“The goal for me is February,” the one-time star guard said in an interview with FanHouse about when he hopes to return after not playing since Jan. 10, 2010.

Redd, who has been rehabbing in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, was in Milwaukee for the first time since last March. He chatted with teammates at a Bucks practice and had the Thanksgiving event he has held for eight years for disadvantaged families. That was the primary reason for Milwaukee visit.

The next time Redd returns, he wants to be taking part in a Bucks practice. He said he was cleared Nov. 8 to do some basketball activities.

“I feel great,” said Redd, who believes he can be 100 percent when he comes back. “I’m just now getting acclimated to playing basketball again. … I’m doing some basketball stuff on the court now, shooting and dribbling, a little light running. Just getting acclimated to playing basketball again.”

Redd, 31, suffered torn anterior and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee on Jan. 24, 2009, against Sacramento and missed the rest of the season. He returned last season only to hurt the same ligaments on Jan. 10, 2010, in a road game at the Los Angeles Lakers, and needed another surgery.

So Redd has played in just 18 of Milwaukee’s past 128 games. When he went down for the second time, the normally optimistic Redd admits he really was down at first.

“The first couple of days after the injury the second time, it was a little hard,” he said. “You’re thinking, ‘This is not how it’s supposed to go.’ … The first couple of days were tough. … But I see light at the end of the tunnel (now).”

The deeply religious Redd credits his faith and his family for helping him get through another long rehabilitation. He said his wife, Achea, encouraged him daily.

“I look at this as no other obstacle I’ve ever had before,” said Redd, an All-Star in 2003-04 who has a 20.3 career scoring average. “I’ve overachieved being a second-round pick (in 2000), I’ve achieved a lot of things people said I couldn’t do. That’s my life story.”

Soon, Redd, making $18.3 million in the final year of his contract, will find out if that story includes continuing to play for Milwaukee. Redd’s name often has been in trade rumors, and the Bucks have moved on without him.

The Bucks have become a much different team since Redd last played, picking up John Salmons last February to fill his role as the starting shooting guard and getting Corey Maggette last summer to provide additional depth. They also signed free-agent forward Drew Gooden last summer.

“It is,” Redd said. “It’s a new team. … I never worry about (trade rumors). I never worry about basketball, about what the future holds. It’s out of my control. All I can do is continue to get healthy, get better, get strong and come back and perform. … As far as I know, I’m back (with the Bucks) in February.”

Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles didn’t want to speculate about what could occur when Redd returns.

“If I spent any minute of my life wondering what might happen in my life in February, I’d be pretty stupid,” Skiles said. “When Mike is ready to come back, we’ll see where we are as a team and make decisions accordingly with what happens. We want Mike to get back healthy, and whenever that is, we’ll see when it is.”

When Redd got hurt, he was in the midst of a sixth straight season of averaging 21 or more points. He was coming off helping lead Team USA to an Olympic gold medal in Beijing in the summer of 2008.

USA Basketball moved on without Redd as he and Jason Kidd, who has retired from international competition, are the only 2008 Olympians not on the 35-man working roster for the 2012 Games. But Redd has no problem with that.

“I think right now my main focus is to get healthy,” Redd said.

Whenever that happens, Redd believes he has a lot of basketball left in him.

“I figure I only played seven years,” said Redd, who barely was used as a rookie in 2000-01. “I’ve been hurt the last two and I didn’t play my rookie year. So I should be fresh when I get back.”

Thursday’s return to the Bucks practice facility included Redd mostly using his hands to greet teammates and coaches. He figures to use them on his next visit for hoisting plenty of jumpers.

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