Injury Updates: Millsap, Rivers, Bender, Beasley

It has been a rough few weeks for the Hawks, who have struggled to keep their hold on the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, having been caught by the Bucks in the standings. Still, Atlanta has won its lost two games and more good news is on the way. According to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Paul Millsap has returned to practice and signs are pointing toward him returning to action soon.

Millsap underwent a non-surgical procedure recently to help address the swelling and fluid buildup in his knee, following his diagnosis of synovitis. The four-time All-Star has missed the Hawks’ last seven games and his return would be a boon for a team that has posted an 8-14 record since mid-February.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Clippers guard Austin Rivers is expected to miss the last five games of the regular season with a strained left hamstring, writes Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. Rivers called the injury a frustrating one, but suggested he anticipates being back for the start of the playoffs.
  • Suns head coach Earl Watson indicated on Thursday that rookie big man Dragan Bender is getting close to returning to the court, and could be back within the week, barring setbacks, per Gerald Bourguet of Fansided (Twitter link). Bender underwent ankle surgery in February, and it’s somewhat surprising that Phoenix wants to see him return with just a few games left, rather than having him focus on 2017/18.
  • After missing the Bucks‘ last 17 games due to a hyperextended left knee, Michael Beasley is set to make his return on Friday night, tweets Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Acquired in a preseason trade, Beasley has become a reliable rotation piece this season in Milwaukee, averaging 9.7 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 50 games (17.1 MPG).
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