MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton remains limited in practice but said Thursday he’s hopeful about starting the season on time as he recovers from surgery on his right knee.
“That’s the plan,” the three-time All-Star said after the Bucks’ practice. “Sometimes things change, but so far I’ve been on pace with everything I’ve been doing. We’ll go over the schedule again and see where I’m at, see how I feel and just keep track of things that way. I don’t want to set a hard date for when I’ll be out there because it’s all about feel and comfort.”
Middleton says he feels fine, but he’s only participated in individual workouts so far in his first season since signing a three-year, $102 million contract to stay with the Bucks. The 6-foot-7 wing underwent surgery after the Bucks’ first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat.
“No setbacks,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said. ”He’s still on track and he’s working out hard every day. He looks good out there.”
The Bucks begin their preseason schedule Sunday by hosting the Chicago Bulls. They open the regular season Oct. 26 when the Philadelphia 76ers visit Milwaukee.
“It’s been slow, but that’s kind of the way they planned it out,” Middleton said. “I think everything’s been going great so far. No setbacks. I’ve been feeling really good, so I’m excited about the next couple of days to a week to really start to get after it, and hopefully everything goes well.”
Injuries have hindered Middleton each of the last two seasons.
He played just 33 games last season, missing the first 20 games while recovering from wrist surgery and 18 straight games later on due to a sore right knee. That came after he missed Milwaukee’s last 10 playoff games in the 2021-22 season because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Middleton’s surgery followed a season in which he averaged 15.1 points, 4.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds.
“I feel like I’m in a great space mentally,” Middleton said. “My body feels great. Knee feels great. I don’t think this is something we should have to manage down the road.”