Bender (ankle) logged nine points (4-9 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 0-2 FT), seven rebounds and two blocks across 14 minutes in a 123-116 loss to the Rockets on Sunday.
Bender had been sidelined for the past two months while recovering from surgery to remove a bone spur in his right ankle, but looked impressive in his light action off the bench in his return. The Suns likely plan to get an extended look at the 19-year-old over the final few games of the season, so he could see a slight uptick in playing time over the next week and a half. He may be worth monitoring down the stretch, but considering he's shooting just 37.6 percent from the floor on the season, Bender doesn't warrant an immediate add in most leagues.
Bender (ankle) will be available for Sunday's tilt against the Rockets, Doug Haller of The Arizona Republic reports.
Bender will be available for Sunday's matchup after missing the past seven weeks of the season due to minor surgery to remove a bone spur in his right ankle. His recovery took longer than expected, but the Suns will have him back for their remaining regular-season games. On the season, Bender is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds across 12.7 minutes per game and could see a similar workload moving forward. Though, with the Suns well out the playoffs, they could opt to give Bender extended minutes. Regardless, he can likely be ignored in the vast majority of fantasy formats.
Bender (ankle) has increased his activity of late and hopes to return before the end of the regular season, the Arizona Republic reports.
It's been nearly seven weeks since the rookie underwent minor surgery on his ankle, and while his recovery has taken longer than expected, Bender is showing signs of tangible progress. "I'm not doing contact or anything like that," Bender said. "I'm shooting on the court before the games and I'm trying to run as much as I can on the treadmill, just putting weight on the ankle to see how it responds. Coach Earl Watson said the recent workouts have left Bender "tired," but he's encouraged by how well the 19-year-old is moving following the procedure. Watson also said he expects Bender to return for "at least a few games" before the end of what's been a difficult regular season for the young Suns.
Bender has been sidelined since early February after requiring surgery on his right ankle, but the Suns haven't closed the door on him returning at some point during the final two and a half weeks of the season. He's been out of a walking boot for more than a month and may only need to regain conditioning at this point following the long layoff. Once he's cleared to play, Bender would likely serve as the top backup at power forward to Marquese Chriss, resulting in fewer minutes for veteran Jared Dudley.
Bender (ankle) has been ruled out for four-to-six weeks following arthroscopic surgery Wednesday, David Aldridge of TNT reports.
This ends up being pretty good news for the rookie forward, as earlier reports feared that Bender missing the remainder of the season was a real possibility. The timetable given would mean that Bender would have a chance to return in early-to-mid March, but given the Suns' playoff hopes are a long shot, they likely won't be in any rush to bring their rookie back. Fellow rookie Marquese Chriss could potentially be pushed into even more minutes at the power forward position in Bender's absence, but the big the big man being out shouldn't have too drastic of an impact on the team's rotation.
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