Hornacek Talks Bledsoe Rehab, Chemistry with Dragic
When Eric Bledsoe does make his return to the Suns' lineup, expect it to be a comeback based on confidence from all parties.
That was the message from Head Coach Jeff Hornacek this week. Bledsoe’s rehab continues, with the recovery being focused on completeness rather than quickness.
“I know that they’re stepping up the rehab work,” Hornacek said. “Every day they’re doing something a little bit more. They just want to make sure he’s a big part of our future, that we don’t rush him back just for the sake of getting in the playoff race. If he comes back, that’s going to be great. If he doesn’t come back, we know we’re going to have him for multiple years, so we don’t want to take that chance. They’re going to probably be on the cautious side of when he comes back.”
“We still think it’ll be sometime before the end of the season.”
Of further encouragement is the developing off-court relationship between Bledsoe and fellow guard Goran Dragic. The duo had hit their stride as a tandem on the floor in December, when Phoenix went 10-3 and guided the Suns to a 19-11 record entering the new year.
Bledsoe’s injury occurred in the final game of that month, and he underwent surgery less than a week later. Since then, Dragic has taken over the bulk of play-making duties and seen both his numbers and recognition rise. He, Hornacek and the rest of the team, however, are eager for Bledsoe’s return, which should give the Suns a much-needed, additional playmaker on offense and disruptor on defense.
“We think that’s going to be a great weapon for us to be able to go pick-and-roll on one side,” Hornacek said of the Dragic-Bledsoe duo. “If they guard it well then we swing it to the other guard and he takes off with it.”
In the meantime, Bledsoe has been outspoken about his admiration for Dragic, who was one of the final players left off the Western Conference All-Star team.
“Eric and Goran, they have a great relationship,” Hornacek said without the prompt of a question. “Eric is talking about ‘hey, Goran should be on that All-Star [team].’ He’s mad about it. He thinks he should be on it. So do we.”