Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was back at practice on Monday, an encouraging sign for a Bucks team that has lost three straight games.

The Bucks are wobbling toward the playoffs and want to change that while securing a post-season berth for the first time in three years. Their magic number is six to clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth - any combination of Bucks victories and Philadelphia defeats totaling six will do it.

The Bucks (34-35) play at Philadelphia on Wednesday and return home to host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Milwaukee is just 2-6 since losing Mbah a Moute to a turf toe injury in the March 10 game at Sacramento. The injury to his right big toe came against the Kings and Mbah a Moute said he felt a sharp pain after making a layup in that game.

"I've started working out a little bit," Mbah a Moute said after practice at the Cousins Center. "It's still painful and stuff like that, but it's definitely getting better.

"I'm still having a lot of pain with cutting and pushing off really hard, accelerating. I'd like to come back and play. It just depends on how this thing heals. The way it's going, I'm pretty optimistic. I'll see tomorrow again in practice.

"By the end of the week, hopefully Wednesday, depending on how it goes in practice (Tuesday) and what I'm able to do. If I'm able to run and push off with it, limited pain. Even if I can do it, I'm going to see if I can suit up and play."

Mike Dunleavy missed Monday's practice due to illness and Larry Sanders sat out with general soreness. Bucks coach Jim Boylan said Sanders will be able to play Wednesday.

"The big thing with him (Mbah a Moute) is when he wakes up tomorrow, how he feels," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "Today we did some halfcourt stuff; we really didn't go up and down.

"We have another practice tomorrow so we'll see where he's at."