Mike Budenholzer insists he is encouraged by the recent injury news concerning Paul Millsap.
The Hawks’ best player will miss at least three more games after he was diagnosed with synovitis in his left knee following a visit to Dr. James Andrews on Monday morning and conferring with team doctors. Millsap underwent a non-surgical procedure following the diagnosis. Millsap will be re-evaluated after the next three games — versus the Suns on Tuesday, at the 76ers on Wednesday and at the Bulls on Saturday. That will bring his total of consecutive missed games to eight. The Hawks have lost all five with the current injury and are 0-8 in games Millsap has missed this season.
The latest three-game timetable is subject to change following further evaluation.
“I would actually say it’s positive,” Budenholzer said Tuesday before the Hawks hosted the Suns. “I think we are excited. We feel like he is making progress. I think we have what we feel is a good plan. I think the knee is going to get better and better. Assuming nothing happens between now and the weekend, I’m actually upbeat. I think it’s a positive where we are.”
The Hawks played the Suns without two other starters — Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha. It appears Bazemore will return for Wednesday’s game at the 76ers after missing five games with a bone bruise in his right knee.
“He got a good workout this afternoon,” Budenholzer said. “Assuming there are not setbacks we are hopeful he’ll play tomorrow.”
There is less certainty with Sefolosha, who missed his second consecutive game with a strained right groin. He will travel with the team to Philadelphia to start a three-game trip that includes the Bulls and Nets.
“There is just a little more uncertainty,” Budenholzer said of Sefolosha.