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Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns set to welcome back Eric Bledsoe

PHOENIX -- "Yes, he's playing."

And with that, before the question could be asked, head coach Jeff Hornacek ended any and all suspense with the announcement point guard Eric Bledsoe will return Wednesday night when the Suns host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"We'll bring him off the bench," Hornacek said. "We went over some plays today (in shootaround) just to make sure that he was familiar with all of them and he picked them right back up. I think everybody is ready for him to come back."

Bledsoe, coming off right knee surgery, is just as anxious.

"I came in early. I came in so early there wasn't nobody here," he said smiling. "I'm just really excited to get back on the floor."

Bledsoe has not played since hurting the knee on December 30. He's missed the past 33 games.

"Coach, he told me he was going to play me how I feel," said Bledsoe, who watched his team go 17-16 in his absence. "If that's 30 seconds, if that's a minute or five minutes, he's said he's just going to play me how I feel. The only way I can do that is just by going out there, so we'll see."

His return comes at a good time.

The Suns (36-27) have lost two straight and three of four overall to drop a game back of eighth-place Dallas in the Western Conference.

At the time of his injury, Bledsoe was averaging career highs in points (18.0), rebounds (4.3) and assists (5.8).

He'll likely be reinserted into the starting lineup sooner rather than later.

"We'll see how he looks; see what happens with our guys," Hornacek said. "We've had pretty good chemistry. Gerald (Green) in that starting lineup has been good, but with Eric, we all can look back and say we were 16-8 when him and Goran (Dragic) played together. We'll have to take that into consideration. I don't anticipate that he's off the bench the rest of the year, but if we're winning, winning, winning and all of a sudden we've got six, seven in a row…when you have a lineup that's working and winning, sometimes you just have to stay with that."

About the Author


School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams

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