Bucks' Lopez ready for contact in recovery from back injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez is ready to participate in contact drills and five-on-five scrimmages after being sidelined since the season opener because of a back injury that required surgery.

The 33-year-old Lopez played 28 minutes and had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in a season-opening victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

The 7-footer averaged 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season while helping the Bucks win the NBA title.

Coach Mike Budenholzer also said Milwaukee hopes to get guard George Hill (sore neck) back in the next week.

He has been sidelined since Jan. 28.

Guard Pat Connaughton, meanwhile, "still has a ways to go" in his recovery from surgery on his right finger, Budenholzer said.

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