Zaza Pachulia (right) has missed nearly two months with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Zaza Pachulia returned to practice Tuesday and appears to be nearing a return after missing the last 26 games with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Pachulia has been out since suffering the injury Dec. 4 against Detroit.
“Zaza actually participated in the entire practice, full contact and all,” coach Larry Drew said. “This was the first day for that and I thought he did well.”
“I didn’t know how it was going to go,” Pachulia said. “But it went well, I can definitely get better and I’m going to work extra to get stronger and I can’t wait to come back.”
Drew said he has not yet been provided with a timetable for Pachulia’s return, but his full participation in practice is certainly a positive sign. Prior to the injury, Pachulia started 11 games and averaged 6.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 17 total contests. He found himself thrust into an increased role when Larry Sanders went down early in November, averaging 26.4 minutes for the month.
“Zaza not only sets the example in the locker room but he’s a presence on the floor. The big body. He plays hard when he’s on the floor, he throws his body around, and we’ve been missing that,” Drew told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
While Pachulia made his return to the practice floor, Sanders and O.J. Mayo sat out due to illness. Both players missed Monday’s game and are considered questionable Wednesday against Phoenix. Regardless, Drew indicated Khris Middleton would remain in the starting lineup. Mayo, who opened the season entrenched as the starting shooting guard, was moved to the bench on Dec. 14 and has not started since.