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Beno Udrih returns to practice, Wednesday return possible

Nearly a month after badly spraining his right ankle in Minnesota, Beno Udrih returned to practice on Sunday and hopes to play when the Bucks host the Nets on Wednesday.

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Jennings has struggled without Udrih backing him up
Jennings has struggled without Udrih backing him up

It appears the Bucks could get a welcome Christmas present when they return from their brief holiday break on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets. Last seen getting some shots up before Saturday's abysmal loss to Cleveland, Beno Udrih practiced for the first time on Monday and Charles Gardner writes that he hopes to be ready to return as soon as Wednesday.

"I would say more sore than stiff," Udrih said of his feeling after making it through the entire practice session. "Certain parts, when I'm cutting to the basket, going left, that's when I put the most pressure on my ankle.

"Running, I can't really go 100% dead sprint. I've just got to get my speed. Today I was basically trying to go through the motions, just be there and run some plays.

"I managed a whole practice, so that's good. We'll see what happens tomorrow; it might be a little sore. But sometimes that actually helps."

The Bucks have gone 7-5 in Udrih's absence, but have struggled offensively while being forced to rely even more than usual on Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Jennings' playing time has jumped from 35 to 40 mpg since Udrih went down, while his fg% has fallen from 41.3% in November to 37.0% in December and his assist numbers have tumbled from 6.8 apg to 4.8 apg.

Udrih's absence has also forced rookie Doron Lamb into regular rotation minutes, with the former Kentucky standout stumbling to some of the worst shoot splits (.311/.222/.462) you'll see from an NBA rotation player. It's not to say Lamb is irredeemable; given the large sample size we have of him excelling at Kentucky, you'd expect him to come around sooner rather than later. That's how it went for 2009 second round pick Jodie Meeks, another former Kentucky sharpshooter who similarly struggled in the first half of his rookie season (36.2% overall and 28.0% from deep) before finding his touch after the Bucks dealt him to Philadelphia.