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Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe’s workload increases in rehab

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe hasn’t played a game since the calendar turned over to 2014, and his timetable for return has been indefinite since he had surgery on his right knee on Jan. 10. However, after the Suns’ practice Monday, the team’s first since the All-Star break commenced, Bledsoe was showing significant progress toward his return to full strength.

Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou reports the fourth-year guard has increased his workload in his rehabilitation. Bledsoe was seen after practice shooting 15- to 18-foot shots around the perimeter and was able to jump slightly. He was also able to do a drill where he would backpedal to a cone before taking two dribbles forward and shooting from around the free-throw area.

“They [the team’s training staff] give him a little bit more every day. So he’s gradually building up,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said Monday. “And now he’s able to shoot the ball and go through those drills. So, he’s looking good.”

The first-year Suns coach stressed that there’s still no target date for the return of Bledsoe, who has posted 18 points and 5.8 assists per game this season on 48.6 percent shooting. The team has gone 11-10 since he was sidelined.

Hornacek added that even when the Kentucky product makes a full return to practice, it won’t mean that he’s ready to hit the court in a game immediately.

“He’s got to practice at least probably three to four days before we can actually put him in game — to make sure that the knee doesn’t swell up,” he said. “When that is, I don’t know.”