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Bucks ‘being smart’ with return of Khris Middleton

Only the Milwaukee Bucks know what’s ailing swingman Khris Middleton, but whatever it is, the team is “being smart” about it.

That was the message from new Bucks coach Adrian Griffin, who used the phrase “being smart” three times Wednesday in an update about the team’s three-time All-Star.

Middleton, 32, has yet to be a full participant in practice since camp opened.

“Not live on the court, but he’s been very productive with his individual workouts and he’s been working his way towards getting back to more 5-on-5 live basketball,” Griffin told reporters.

Griffin wouldn’t acknowledge what’s limiting Middleton. However, Middleton reportedly underwent surgery on his knee, a minor arthroscopic procedure, after the Bucks were eliminated by the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs in June.

“We got time on our side,” Griffin said. “We’re just being smart and he’s been working diligently to get back, so that’s the plan.”

Griffin wouldn’t say if Middleton would be ready for the team’s season opener on Oct. 26 against the Philadelphia 76ers, again saying, “we’re being smart right now.”

Middleton played in just 33 games (19 starts) last season, averaging just 15.1 points per game, his lowest output since the 2016-17 season. He was plagued by right knee soreness throughout the season. He also played through a left ankle sprain and blisters on both feet.

Middleton averages 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 11 seasons, 10 with the Bucks.

He signed a three-year, $102 million deal in late June to remain with the club.

Newly acquired Damian Lillard and former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo also sat out practice Wednesday for rest.

–Field Level Media

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