After months of waiting, plus parsing through practice photos, haircut interpretations, reading through coach Bud’s injury double speak and maintaining all manner of hope, Milwaukee Bucks Center, Brook Lopez will finally return to the lineup Monday versus the Utah Jazz, per Woj.
ESPN Sources: Three months after back surgery, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez will return to lineup vs. the Utah Jazz on Monday (ESPN, 10 PM ET). Lopez, out since opening night, should make an impact for a defense outside of top 10 for first time under coach Mike Budenholzer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 14, 2022
Initially out after the first game with back soreness, Lopez eventually underwent surgery on December 2. Since then it’s been a steady trickle of almost no news until the last 10 days or so when he was cleared for on court contact. Milwaukee acquired Serge Ibaka at the trade deadline likely as some Lopez insurance but we’ll now see how he fits into a lineup that will more actively feature Brook at center.
With 14 games left in the regular season there’s about a month left for Lopez to try and ramp up and prepare for the playoffs. It’s still likely an open question whether he’ll be able to return to last year’s form but getting on the court is the first step.
Other injury notes
In other solid news for Milwaukee’s depth, George Hill will also be available after sitting out a considerable length of time with neck soreness. Jevon Carter has filled in admirably in his stead, so it’ll be interesting to see how Bud balances those two. I’d lean towards Hill getting the nod.
Brook Lopez and George Hill will return vs. Utah tomorrow night.https://t.co/sIXf90Vf3K— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 14, 2022
In less fun news, it appears the injury DeAndre Bembry suffered on Saturday vs. the Warriors is going to sideline him for the duration of this season.
It didn’t seem likely he would be all that vital come Playoff time, but obviously a huge bummer for a guy trying to find ways to make an impact. That’s a rough injury, but hopefully he can make a full recovery to glom onto a roster late next year.