Bucks Shaun Livingston says knee “80-90 percent”

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The fact that Shaun Livingston is back on the court and playing in NBA games is in and of itself a miracle.

He suffered as gruesome an on-the-court injury as any of us have ever seen in 2007 with the Clippers. It tore his anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and lateral meniscus, his knee joint was basically dislocated, and there was more.

It took years of hard work to get where he is now — back as a member of the Bucks this season who played 35 minutes against the Timberwolves Tuesday. He was once considered a potential franchise cornerstone for the Clippers, now he is a solid veteran role player.

It’s in part because of the knee, which he told the Journal Times is not fully healed and never will be.

“My knee is probably about 80 to 90 percent of what it was before the injury,” Livingston said. “To me, I feel I’ve peaked. I’m at a point now where I don’t feel my leg is going to give out. My leg doesn’t get tired before the rest of my body gets tired now. I just might not be able to move at the same gear that I used to move it, but I feel I can be a good player and contribute a lot.”

Livingston went the hard way from being a player who relied on his physical gifts to one who uses his basketball IQ to beat players. That is a slow evolution over years for many NBA players, Livingston had to do it on film study and limited time on the court for years.

Now he’s back and looking good. It’s about as good a story as there is in the NBA.