Mike Miller says he's ready to play

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- After missing the Cleveland Cavaliers' last six games while recovering from a concussion, Mike Miller said Tuesday he's ready to return to game action.

"I've told the medical team and I'll tell the coaching staff the same thing, I'm ready to play," Miller said. "And I'm confident in playing. It's totally up to them now. ... They pay me to play basketball games, not to watch, so I'm here. Ready to go."

Cavs coach David Blatt said that Miller has passed all five stages of the league's concussion protocol, culminating with the 15-year veteran playing fullcourt 5-on-5 in practice.

Miller was held out of Wednesday's game against Atlanta, but Blatt said the swingman will be back for Friday's game against the Brooklyn Nets.

"Mike did well in his final stage last night, but he still has some stiffness in his neck area and we decided to hold him out one more game," Blatt said before the Hawks game. "Nothing serious, but just taking every precaution so we can get him back at full strength.

"We just want to make sure that it's just (a stiff neck) and nothing more. Honestly, he really could have got out there tonight. We just decided to give him one more day. There's no story behind the story, in all honesty. Just wanted to make sure that everything's clear so he's good to go."

Miller, who suffered multiple concussions back in 2005, said he was in favor of the NBA's concussion policy that wasn't in place the last time he went through the head injuries.

"I'm kind of glad (the concussion protocol went into place)," Miller said. "I've had a concussion before, and the last time I had it, I got another one three days later just because no one knew the severities or how to really treat them. So, they're a little more sensitive with it now, which is good.

"As much as I want to be out there playing, I also want to be able to know my kids' names when I'm 55-60 years old too."

Miller said his patience was tested throughout the process, however, as he's been sidelined for nearly two full weeks.

"It's tough," Miller said. "For me, I've been injured in this league before. I know concussions are serious and things like that, so I got to take it seriously. But when you don't feel injured, it's difficult to watch and not be a part of it. So that's always difficult."

The timing of Miller's injury was also difficult. He had just broken back into the Cavs' rotation, contributing six points, seven rebounds and a block in a win against Milwaukee the game before he got hit against the New York Knicks.

The two-time champion had racked up DNP-CDs in three of the Cavs' five games prior to finding minutes in the rotation again in the Bucks and Knicks games.

Miller is averaging 1.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game this season while shooting 30.4 percent from the field.

"I'm just anxious to see Mike out there on the floor again," Blatt said. "Before he got hit he was really rounding into good form I felt and then had this setback. But I believe he'll get back on track quickly."

The concussion occurred when Miller was inadvertently struck in the head by Carmelo Anthony as Miller was called for an offensive foul for sticking out his leg to draw contact with Anthony. He has no recollection of the play.

"I told these guys I don't remember it and I don't want to look at it to remember it," Miller said. "We'll leave it to where it was. That's four seconds of my life I don't need to know about."