The Milwaukee center is expected to make his return to the lineup Monday night against Utah. Lopez hasn’t played since the season opener against Brooklyn due to a back injury. He underwent surgery in early December.
Without Lopez patrolling the paint, Milwaukee’s defense hasn’t been up to its usual standard under coach Mike Budenholzer. Lopez’s return gives the Bucks a legitimate rim protector and should give them another weapon from 3-point range on the offensive end.
It’s unclear how Budenholzer will work Lopez back into the lineup after being out for so long. There are 14 games remaining in the regular season, which should give the team plenty of time to figure it out.
The team also announced that George Hill will return to the court against the Jazz, as well. The veteran guard has missed the last 16 games with neck soreness.
Fellow guard Pat Connaughton continues to make good progress in his return from a broken finger, according to the team. He is still expected back before the playoffs begin.
The news was not all good, though. Deandre Bembrey, a relatively new addition to the club, will miss the rest of the season after tearing an ACL and MCL in the loss to Golden State on Saturday. Bembrey had played in eight games since being signed.