It had the makings of his finest season yet, but from the outset things weren’t right for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season.
As a restricted free agent when the lockout hit, Luc found himself in a unique position, belonging to the Bucks and no one at once. When the lockout was finally lifted, Luc signed an offer sheet with the Denver Nuggets that the Bucks matched almost immediately, locking in Luc for four more years in Milwaukee.
But the delayed resolution to his contract situation — which would have been handled months before training camp if not for the lockout — caused Luc some visa issues that made him late arriving to Bucks camp.
A knee injury bothered Luc all year and forced him to wear a brace when he did play (Getty Images).
Once he was finally allowed to participate in the shortened camp, Luc pressed himself and suffered a knee injury that lingered for the rest of the season. As a result, he played in just 43 of Milwaukee’s 66 games.
« It was hurting me and hurting my game, » Luc said of the injury.
In order to avoid a similar fate in the 2012-2013 season, Luc set out this summer to fix the problem. He visited with Neal ElAttrache, the team doctor for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and after discussing his options decided to undergo arthroscopic surgery in May on his right patella tendon. He recently told Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the recovery is going well and he’s feeling re-energized.
« I feel good. The knee is getting better, » he said. « I’m right on track to be back for the beginning of the season. I’m just excited to be healthy again. »
Luc’s continued rehab work forced him to cancel his annual camp in Cameroon this summer. Once he was feeling better, Luc did make a trip over to Africa for Basketball Without Borders and a UNICEF mission trip in late August. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he is working toward his goal of being ready for training camp when it begins next month in Milwaukee.
« At this point I’m not sure, » he told the Journal-Sentinel of being ready on the opening day of training camp. « My goal is to be ready for camp, but if not, make sure I’m ready [for the season]. I don’t want to rush that. »