March 20, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Phoenix Suns small forward Grant Hill (33) looks on during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Grant Hill Close To Returning From Knee Surgery

Grant Hill reports that he's just a few days away from being ready to return to the court after having knee surgery on March 30.

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Grant Hill Close To Return To Suns After Knee Surgery

It's pretty hard to keep Grant Hill off the court. Over the last few years this has been a running joke with Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry who "battles" with his aging star to even limit Grant's floor time in practice. So it's no surprise to hear that Hill is close to returning to the court for the Suns just a few weeks after having the meniscus in his knee repaired on March 30.

During the ESPN broadcast of the Suns win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, Hill said that he would like to play as soon as Saturday in San Antonio. He admitted, however, that the team would probably like to wait a bit longer.

The Arizona Republic is also reporting that Monday's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers is a more realistic target date. Here's an update on Hill's rehab from the Republic:

Suns' Grant Hill could return next week vs. Portland
Hill went through a rigorous pregame workout Monday night of plyometics, sprints and shooting that had him drenched in sweat. Earlier Monday, Hill did a workout of lateral basketball movements for the first time.

Complicating matters to some small degree has been the performance of the team without Hill. The Suns are 5-3 since Grant last played and 5-1 over their last six games. Shannon Brown and Michael Redd have stepped up and played well.

Brown, as a starter in place of Hill, is averaging 17.4 points in 10 games as a starter and shooting an efficient 45 percent from the field. He's also handling the ball more and dishing assists and playing well within the flow of the offense.

Hill, however, is still a premier perimeter defender and will almost certainly return to the starting lineup when ready although it's possible that his minutes will be limited depending on match ups and game situation.

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Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry Responds To Loss Of Grant Hill [VIDEO]

The Phoenix Suns held practice on Friday as part of a rare three-day break in their schedule. They are coming off two losses and with 15 games left in the season have a lot of work to do to reach their goal of making the playoffs.

That task will be harder without Grant Hill who underwent a minor procedure on his right knee on Friday. Hill could return before the end of the season if all goes well.

Coach Alvin Gentry talked about the loss of Hill and his plans moving forward after practice. He said that Shannon Brown would likely continue to start in place of Hill with Josh Childress and Ronnie Price picking up extra minutes as well.

"We're still trying to battle and stay in the playoff race so somebody is obviously going to have to elevate their game," Gentry said. "We'll stick some guys in there and see who can do it for us."

Suns rookie forward Markieff Morris continues to battle what's being called viral illness. He was sent home early from practice.

Here's video of his full comments:


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