Eric Bledsoe is back on the basketball court.
The Milwaukee Bucks guard returned to practice on Friday after spending more than 36 hours in quarantine upon his arrival at the NBA bubble in Orlando.
“Eric looked great,” coach Mike Budenholzer said after practice. “Just literally seeing him and having him in our presence and being able to talk with him and laugh with him, it was great. Really happy to have him. In all honesty, considering it’s been awhile since he’s been able to touch a ball or do anything, he was very good.”
Bledsoe had been laid up for more than two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the team leaving Milwaukee for the bubble. He never had any symptoms associated with the virus, but he wasn’t able to workout during that time. Instead, it was a lot of time playing Call of Duty while staying in contact with teammates in the bubble. His first workout since testing positive didn’t come until Thursday when he rode a stationary bike in his hotel room. That made Friday’s practice special.
“It was fun, man. I was exhausted,” Bledsoe said. “I got to kiss the game, something I love, and just get back to my sanctuary. It was pretty fun.”
There isn’t a road map for Bucks trainers to work with in brining a player back from a positive virus test. Budenholzer said there is no timetable for Bledsoe to return to the court and added that process is something they’ll let play out over the next few days.
“I think it comes with the job (of being a coach) is to protect the player sometimes from themselves,” Budenholzer said. “They are so competitive. They want to play. They want to be there for their teammates. Luckily we have (Performance Director) Troy (Flanagan) and his staff that really monitors and gives great guidance there. I think we’ll be very hopefully wise in when and how we use him.”
Milwaukee will take on Sacramento on Saturday in the second of its three exhibition games. The first of the Bucks eight seeding games is July 31 against Boston.