Milwaukee's Eric Bledsoe returns to practice in NBA bubble after COVID-19 battle

Ryan Young
·Writer

Guard Eric Bledsoe returned to the court with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday for the first time since he was diagnosed with COVID-19

Bledsoe, who arrived at the NBA bubble this week at Walt Disney World, was thrilled to simply be playing again both after months locked up in quarantine and while recovering from the coronavirus.

"I got up and down the court," Bledsoe said after practice, via the Associated Press. "Just touching the basketball, getting a feel for it again, it was pretty fun."

Bledsoe on COVID-19: ‘It’s kind of scary’

Bledsoe revealed earlier this month that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, one of several high-profile players in the league to have done so.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

While his experience wasn’t as difficult as others’ have been — Bledsoe was completely asymptomatic — the situation was still frightening for the 30-year-old for a number of reasons. About all he was able to do, he said, was play Call of Duty online and just hang around his house.

“It was tough man,” Bledsoe said, via The Athletic. “I had my family with me so it made it go easy, but me having it and they’re around the house, it’s kind of scary. So, I kind of had to get them away from me a little bit, so I could just quarantine and get back with the team.”

Bledsoe was averaging 15.4 points and 5.4 assists per game when play was suspended this season, his 10th in the league. The Bucks will enter the restart in Florida with a 53-12 record, the best in the league and more than six games ahead of the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Bledsoe didn’t specify when he’d participate with the team in a scrimmage or if he’d be ready in time for their first game in Florida next Friday. It may take him some time to get back into shape, but coach Mike Budeholzer isn’t too worried.

Given their lead, and Bledsoe’s mild battle with the virus, Budenholzer said it doesn’t feel any different than bringing a player back from a minor injury. 

“I think fortunately, the eight seeding games are going to give Eric and really all of us, we all need time to get ready,” Budenholzer said, via The Athletic. “The playoffs truly start, I think, Aug. 17, or somewhere in there, and these seeding games are going to be important. We’d like to be playing good basketball. We’d like to get sharper and get better as we work through it.

“But I don’t think we can overlook how valuable those are for him individually, for us and certainly feel like that gives us plenty of time for him to be ready and for us to be ready for the playoffs.”

Milwaukee guard Eric Bledsoe returned to practice Friday after recovering from the coronavirus. (AP/Nick Wass)
Milwaukee guard Eric Bledsoe returned to practice Friday after recovering from the coronavirus. (AP/Nick Wass)

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