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Phoenix Suns’ Eric Bledsoe calls return this season ‘possible’

PHOENIX — Consistent with how the team has approached the subject, Eric Bledsoe offered up very few details about his recent right knee surgery and subsequent rehab.

He was even more vague about a comeback this season.

“If it’s possible,” he said in his first comments since the surgery was performed eleven days ago. “I’m just taking it as slow as possible; just trying to get back 100 percent.”

The Suns announced Bledsoe underwent successful arthroscopic surgery involving meniscus cartilage in his right knee on January 10. The procedure was performed by team doctor and knee surgeon Thomas Carter.

Aside from that, there has been very little information and even less said; however, the team has repeatedly expressed an optimistic tone that their starting point guard will return to action at some point following the All-Star break.

“We’re doing everything possible to get him back as quickly as possible,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said Tuesday.

Bledsoe said he was devastated to learn he needed surgery after hurting the knee in a game against his former team, the L.A. Clippers, December 30.

“It was tough. I was having a great year. Everybody was playing great,” he said. “Just to go down like this and watch the team kind of battle it out a little bit, it’s real tough.”

In his first season with the Suns and first full season as a starter, Bledsoe was averaging career highs in points (18.0), rebounds (4.3) and assists (5.8).

His rehab began immediately after the surgery and has now progressed, since losing the leg brace and crutches, to what he referred to as “the basics,” including strength training and range of motion exercises to increase flexibility.

“I’m back walking,” he said with a smile.

And now that he is more mobile, the plan, according to Hornacek, is to have Bledsoe be around the team whenever possible.

“We told him, ‘We’d like you there as much as possible. During the games, when the point guards come off the court, you can sit with them and talk to them; tell them some of the things you see out there to help out.’ Keep him involved,” Hornacek said. “Go on the road, I think our training staff likes these guys to go on the road with them so they can continue to work on them.”

The Suns are 7-9 without Bledsoe, which includes the six games (3-3) he missed earlier in the season because of a bruised left shin.

It’s the second time he’s had the knee operated on.

When he was with the Clippers, Bledsoe underwent a similar procedure in October 2011 that sidelined him for almost four months.

“I’m just taking it a day at a time,” he said.