Milwaukee Bucks swingman Pat Connaughton played in just his third game back on Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs. The 30-year-old spent more than two weeks on the sidelines due to an ankle injury that kept him out for six games.
Connaughton took on his usual role off the bench in Milwaukee’s 132-119 win against the Spurs, but it is clear that the Bucks have been easing him back in following his lengthy layoff.
Pat Connaughton Speaks Out on Milwaukee Bucks Return
Connaughton logged just 18 minutes on Tuesday night, finishing with just three points on 1-of-8 shooting. The 6-foot-5 guard/forward saw his playing time rise from 12 minutes on Saturday against the Detroit Pistons to 17 on Sunday against the Houston Rockets.
Prior to his injury, Connaughton was averaging 22.1 minutes per contest.
Despite the fact that the Bucks have been easing him back in, Connaughton has remained steadfast in doing everything and anything he can to help his team:
“I try to tailor it toward what’s needed in the game,” he said prior to Tuesday’s win. “From a physical standpoint it’s just about making sure I can go out there and perform without feeling too sore, without feeling like it’s hindering my abilities.
“It’s just about trying to make sure I find ways to impact winning, no matter what end of the floor it’s on.”
Connaughton Sheds Light on Injury
The fact that Connaughton had to spend a full two weeks off the court means that the ankle sprain he suffered against the Miami Heat back in November 28 was not a minor knock. The silver lining, though, is that there was no structural damage because an injury of that nature could have sidelined him for a much longer period.
“When I twisted it, the outside – like a typical ankle sprain – can take awhile but it wasn’t that bad,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “The two bones on the inside, my foot and my ankle, banged together and I had a bone bruise and those are just time. It takes a minute for them to be less sensitive. I still feel it now but it’s not as bad as it was and I can deal with (expletive).”
It should only be a matter of time before Connaughton gets back up to full speed. He’s going to be a key piece for the Bucks the rest of the way, and they will need him to be healthy.
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