Bledsoe Plays 3-on-3, 'Looked Pretty Good'
Eric Bledsoe made a big step toward his on-court return for the Suns on Monday, participating in three-on-three scrimmages and drills with the team.
The news comes a month-and-a-half after the team announced the fourth-year guard underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair meniscus cartilage.
Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek was encouraged but still cautious after seeing Bledsoe’s latest progress in his rehabilitation.
“Just trying to get him going,” he said. “For us, being out for as long as he is, it’s probably his first real action going against other guys. He looked pretty good.”
How Bledsoe's knee reacts will likely dictate how fast the team brings him along.
"This is when it becomes a question of how tomorrow when he wakes up, how it feels,” Hornacek said. “If he feels okay, then they’ll continue to do that and hopefully get him back.”
As for Bledsoe, he was simply grateful to get back out on the court with other players.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I felt a little bit relieved. I just want to credit my teammates for coming in, playing with me and helping me do it.”
Bledsoe empathizes with everyone who has eagerly awaited his return, citing the arduous routine required to make a comeback from knee surgery.
“It’s very hard. You’ve got to come in and consistently do the same thing every day,” he said. “It definitely gets boring, tiring, whatever you want to call it. The focus, the bigger picture is so much better, so you’ve got to look forward to that."
The work, however, appears to be paying off. Bledsoe admitted to being surprised at the recovery of his speed and quickness this soon. He credited the team’s training staff, on whom he’ll continue to rely until his comeback is complete.
“I can see why they say they’re the best medical staff in the league,” Bledsoe said. “They just know how to handle it.”
“I’m just taking my time,” he added. “I’m going to continue to be one of the biggest cheerleaders out there on the bench.”
In the meantime Bledsoe will continue to progress both individually and with his teammates in an effort to make his transition back into the lineup as seamless as possible.
“I don’t know how we’re going to do it, looking at our schedule, but we’ve got to have some full-out five-on-five practices so he can go up and down and scrimmage that way,” Hornacek said.
“We don’t need to rush him back,” he added. “We welcome him whenever he can get back. We don’t want to push him.”