Milwaukee Bucks wing Khris Middleton participated in the team’s shootaround Friday morning, teammate Brook Lopez told the assembled media at the team’s practice facility.
Middleton is expected to be available to play against the Golden State Warriors at 8:30 tonight at Fiserv Forum.
The intrigue around Middleton’s availability stems from two incidents, which multiple sources have said aren’t related.
On Saturday, Middleton was benched by coach Mike Budenholzer for the fourth quarter and overtime of the team’s loss to the New York Knicks. Budenholzer made that decision based on Middleton’s lack of on-court effort, but the two had a meeting before Monday’s practice and got on the same page.
Then, on Wednesday, Middleton was a late scratch from Milwaukee’s game against the Detroit Pistons. He was not with the team for that contest, a 115-92 win, due to personal reasons that the team did not disclose — as is the case whenever a player is away from the team due to personal reasons.
Budenholzer said he wasn’t made aware that Middleton would be unavailable until about 75-90 minutes before the game. Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who like Middleton has been with the Bucks since 2013-’14, did not learn about Middleton’s absence until about an hour before tip-off.
The Bucks held an individual practice day Thursday, which does not include any media availability. According to league rules, only full-squad practices are designated as days on which players and/or the head coach need to be made available to media.
Middleton’s presence Friday, in addition to forward Ersan Ilyasova (concussion) being upgraded to probable, mean that the Bucks are in line to be close to full health for Friday’s tilt against the two-time defending champions. Only John Henson, who recently underwent left wrist surgery, is certainly out tonight due to injury.