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Bucks' Sanders still wants to play, 'trying to get to the root of a lot of issues'

Brian Spurlock / USA Today Sports

Larry Sanders missed his seventh consecutive game Tuesday, but for the first time since his absence began, he was on the Milwaukee Bucks bench, watching in street clothes as his team fell to the Phoenix Suns

It's still unclear when Sanders might be appearing in uniform again, but it has to be heartening for the Bucks and their fans to see Sanders back with the team, after head coach Jason Kidd said last week that he'd be out indefinitely due to personal reasons and wasn't participating in team activities. A subsequent report alleged that Sanders had claimed to no longer have any interest in playing basketball. 

"That's not true," Sanders said of the report after Tuesday's game, according to FOX Sports Wisconsin's Andrew Gruman. "But what is true I would say is that I'm in the process of working things out now internally to do what's best for my psyche and my physical health going forward. There's a lot of evaluating going on. There's a lot of inside talk just to put myself in the best place for my health right now."

Prior to being declared inactive for personal reasons, Sanders had missed four consecutive games due to a viral illness. But, at the surface, that illness seems distinct from the health concerns he's expressing at the moment. 

"I'm definitely making progress," Sanders said. "I'm trying to get to the root of a lot of issues and get them corrected going forward."

He was asked whether the issues he's been dealing with have affected how he prioritizes basketball. 

"Without these things being corrected, I don't think basketball would be something I could even do. I have to work my way back to try to be able to play," Sanders said.

Kidd, who has remained intentionally vague regarding his young center's personal situation, echoed Sanders' sentiment.

"It was good to see Larry back," Kidd said. "(Now we need) to go through the process of getting him back in the swing of things."

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