larry sanders

Larry Sanders has emerged as a dominant defensive player in his third pro season.

And it’s clear the Milwaukee Bucks missed their big man while he sat out four games with a bruised lower back.

So it was a relief for interim coach Jim Boylan to see Sanders running freely up and down the court during Monday’s practice as the team returned from the four-day NBA all-star break.

Sanders sported a wide smile after practice and termed his chances to return Tuesday night against Brooklyn at “70-30.”

“With this team I put the defense on my shoulders,” Sanders said. “I’m ready to return. I’m ready to lock that paint down and get this ball back rolling.”

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of theĀ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel