By A.Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON The sweat is pouring off the forehead of Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Redd like a leaky faucet . . . and he couldn't be any happier.
Missing 103 games (and counting) plus the playoffs a year ago will make any NBA player -- especially a former All-star -- eager to get back on the floor.
And when he returns, Redd is eager to show that the high-scoring shooting guard that used to be the face of the Fear the Deer movement is back which, truth be told, was very much in doubt.
Shortly after surgery to repair a second torn ACL and MCL injury to his left knee just a year apart from each other, Redd had a bunch of questions for the attending physicians.
There was just one that truly mattered.
"I asked them, 'Would I be able to come back and play my game?' " Redd recalled to CSNNE.com prior to Boston's 87-56 win over Milwaukee on Sunday. "That was a determining factor for me. If I wasn't going to be able to play my game, I don't know if I would have come back. The doctor said you should be able to do everything you did before the injury."
The first chance of that happening will be later this month.
Redd told CSNNE.com he's targeting March 20 against the New York Knicks or March 23 against the Sacramento Kings -- both home games for Milwaukee -- to make his return to the court.
The fact that Redd is even thinking about playing basketball still is amazing when you consider he has suffered a torn ACL and MCL injury in his left knee twice.
"I've had one torn ACL injury," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "That's all you need. You don't need more than one in your lifetime."
After the first one in 2009, Redd simply chalked it up as being one of those things.
But to suffer a second torn ACL and MCL injury a year later, had him asking a lot of questions that, truth be told, there are no answers forthcoming.
"The question did cross my mind, 'Why me?' " Redd said. "I worked so hard."
During those grueling rehabilitation sessions, Redd said one of the people that reached out to him was Grant Hill.
The two talked about Hill's struggles in Orlando with injuries that essentially kept Hill off the floor for three seasons, and how Hill turned that setback into the launching pad for what has been a solid NBA career since.
"I believe I'm going to help some young person whose dealing with injuries, come back," Redd said.
Returning to the basketball court would make Redd's story a successful one in itself.
But his goals are so much greater than that.
A former second round pick in the 2000 draft, Redd is a career 20.3 points per game scorer and a former All-Star (2004).
With Andrew Bogut established at center and Brandon Jennings emerging as one of the better point guards in the Eastern Conference, Redd returning to near All-Star form would bode well for the Bucks' chances of finishing the season strong and getting into the playoffs.
But Redd is smart enough to know that he's not going to immediately return and play at the same level he did prior to the second left knee injury.
"You gotta get a rhythm," he said. "Hopefully I can find my rhythm quicker than normal. I'm just glad to be back. But the goal for me is not to just come back and play, but to be an elite player once again; back to where I was."