PHOENIX — Leandro Barbosa was back on the court Friday, and he was shooting. But he was shooting with only his left hand. The right hand remained down by his side.
Barbosa continues to be bothered by his right shoulder.
“It’s still a little sore; definitely better than yesterday,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard so I can come back and play.”
The shoulder kept Barbosa out of the game against the Lakers Wednesday, ruining his first chance to once again suit up in a Suns uniform at US Airways Center.
He did not sound confident about a second chance, this time against the Dallas Mavericks.
“I don’t think I’ll play,” Barbosa said after shoot-around. “I want to play, but got to be smart.”
Head coach Jeff Hornacek is not expecting his veteran backup point guard to be available.
“We’re not counting on it,” he said. “If he comes back tonight and practices before the game and says he feels good, then fine; but right now, we can’t plan on him playing.”
Barbosa hurt the shoulder running into Kenyon Martin on a pick-and-roll play in the overtime loss at New York Monday.
The Suns are calling the injury a sprain and officially list Barbosa as day-to-day.
The problem there is Barbosa is running out of days.
His 10-day contract he signed with the team he spent his first seven seasons with expires Friday.
“They brought me here for 10 days to see how I was moving about my knee (after ACL surgery last February). I don’t have any problem with that,” he said. “This is my last day, so I don’t know if you guys will see me tomorrow. We’ll see.”
According to Barbosa, the Suns have not approached him about extending is stay in Phoenix. They can sign him to a second 10-day contract before having to decide whether to commit to him for the remainder of the season.
“I’m not thinking about that,” Barbosa said. “I’m thinking about getting better.”
The Suns have said they would like to keep Barbosa, though they may choose to wait until he’s again healthy before signing him a second time.
“I feel I’m very, very close (to returning),” he said. “I want to be able to do my things, so I’ve got to be comfortable. Right now it’s not in that situation, so it’s day-by-day.”
Barbosa is averaging 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in four games, each on the road.
In other words, there is the possibility he misses out on playing in front of those that made him a fan favorite from 2003-10.
“It’ll be sad. It’ll be sad,” he said. “All of those days that I was here, it was happy for me. Coming back to the Suns — everything started here.”