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Phoenix Suns

Bledsoe's MRI negative, but Suns guard remains sidelined

Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe (2) drives to the basket against Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland (19) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

PHOENIX -- Another day, another game missed by Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe.

He dressed but wasn't expected to play when the Suns hosted the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday. For those keeping track, that's six straight games he's been sidelined because of a bruised shin.

"We wish he was back," head coach Jeff Hornacek said prior to Wednesday's game. "We could go play back with him and and Goran (Dragic) at the guard spots and really push the ball."

Instead, the onus again fell squarely on the shoulders of Dragic, who in his past two games (at Orlando and at Miami) has 22 assists with only a single turnover in 53 minutes.

Gerald Green was once more inserted into the starting lineup. It was his 10th start, which is one more than he had in his previous two seasons combined in Indiana and New Jersey.

Green is making the most of his early minutes, averaging 16.9 points while shooting 46.7 percent, including 37.9 percent from three as a starter.

"He's been great. Gerald is definitely a team guy," Hornacek said of his third-leading scorer at 15 points per game. "That's kind of our special guy in there that can light it up quickly. And it's only going to add when Eric comes back because then you've got extra depth. Right now we go to the bench, we're OK, but we'd be even better when he comes back."

Bledsoe, who suffered the injury when he and PJ Tucker collided in practice on Nov. 17, underwent an MRI earlier in the day. It was considered precautionary.

"It didn't show anything besides what they knew already; just a contusion," Hornacek said.

Bledsoe remains day-to-day. The hope is he'll be back sooner rather than later.

"I thought maybe he'd miss one game or two games," Hornacek said. "Whenever somebody gets hit like that you never know. You hope it's fast. He's got to be able to go out there and push off; and if he can't, then he doesn't play."

About the Author


School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams

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