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AP: 45d4f32b-402a-46d6-b9b1-b6cdea61ae2e
Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul is fouled by Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
When he's been on the court this season, Eric Bledsoe has been a dynamic playmaker for the Phoenix Suns.

As the second part of the team's two-headed point guard monster, Bledsoe is averaging 18 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

The only problem for the guard in his first season with the Suns has been his ability to stay on the court, as he's missed eight of the team's first 32 games due to different ailments.

Now out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury, the hope is he'll be back soon.

"He banged his knee up and they've taken MRIs and different doctors have looked at it," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek told Doug and Wolf Tuesday morning before the team left for Chicago. "I think they talked last night in a conference call with our docs and some of their docs and I think they're just trying to see if the swelling is going to go away, and hopefully by the end of the week we'll decide."

Bledsoe originally hurt his right knee more than week ago in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, and the team announced this past weekend that the guard would continue to be sidelined with what they are calling a knee sprain.

"He doesn't practice, but walking around, I think that later in the week he'll probably, hopefully by Thursday or Friday, really figure out what's going on," Hornacek said.

As the team heads off for a five-game, seven-day road trip, they no doubt could use their second-leading scorer in the lineup. Bledsoe has proven to be a valuable weapon, as the 6-foot-1, 195-pound guard is effective at taking the ball to the hoop and finishing through contact.

It's a style of play that makes him good, but also perhaps more susceptible to injuries like the one that is keeping him off the floor right now.

But that doesn't mean Hornacek wants his young star to change the way he plays or thinks this injury is necessarily a bad sign for the player's future.

"It's hard to say," he said. "With the knee, the banging up, the contract year. You never know what agents and everybody's telling him.

"But just like the other day, he got hurt against the Clippers and he wanted to play the next day. He was sore but he goes, 'Coach, I can go' and the docs looked at him and saw some swelling in there."

Hornacek said the key is to realize Bledsoe is part of the team's long-term plans, and thus make sure his bright future is not harmed by having him play through an injury like this.

"You don't want to throw him out there when he's hurt a little bit," he said. "I don't know if the durability thing will be a big deal; I think it's more of a fluke when you get banged in the knee like that."

Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com

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