First, the “if” was removed from an Eric Bledsoe return from knee surgery this season.

Now, the “when” is somewhat answered.

Bledsoe will return to game action for the Suns in the next week. The point guard will play no later than next Wednesday’s home game against Cleveland and no earlier than Sunday at Golden State.

The Suns also play Monday at the Los Angeles Clippers, Bledsoe’s former team, at the Staples Center, where he injured his knee in a Dec. 30 win. Bledsoe underwent arthroscopic surgery Jan. 10 and has been rehabilitating it with significant recent progress. On Wednesday, Bledsoe participated in full-court, five-on-five scrimmaging for the third time in five days.

Of the three return date options, a Sunday return is the least likely because the Suns play again a night later after a short flight.

Bledsoe received glowing reviews for his play in closed scrimmaging from Coach Jeff Hornacek and teammates who he expressed appreciation for getting him ready during the season’s dog days. Bledsoe has been sore from conditioning but there have been no issues with the right knee that underwent surgery.

Bledsoe averaged 18.0 points and 5.8 assists this season when the Suns went 16-8 with him.

Suns starters Miles Plumlee (right knee sprain) and Goran Dragic (right side bruise) were held out of Wednesday’s practice. Dragic is probable to play Thursday night against Oklahoma City but Plumlee, who missed his first Suns game in Tuesday’s loss, is questionable. Plumlee’s knee improved but some swelling remained Wednesday. Sitting out Thursday night would give Plumlee three more recovery days.

The Suns face a Thunder team that just reincorporated its star point guard, Russell Westbrook, after also having success. Oklahoma City had its first three-game losing streak of the season upon Westbrook’s return but since has won three in a row, including Westbrook’s triple-double in 20 minutes Tuesday.