Wizards’ Trevor Booker doubtful for preseason opener

October 6, 2013
I can't wait to do this again. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)
I can’t wait to do this again. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Trevor Booker remains doubtful for the Wizards’ preseason opener on Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets, but he is still eager to get back in a competitive situation. Flashing a smile and covered in a lather of sweat after Saturday’s practice, Booker admitted that he got in a little more work on his sore right knee before actually receiving permission.

“I wasn’t supposed to…but I snuck in one drill while the trainers wasn’t watching,” Booker said with a grin. “I’m sure they’re going to read this…But I snuck in one drill and I feel pretty good.”

With an opportunity for more playing time available because of Emeka Okafor’s neck injury, Booker has been frustrated about being sidelined throughout training camp. Booker participated in five-on-none, non-contact drills during the Wizards’ open practice and scrimmage on Friday but he angling for more.

“It’s tough because I’m a competitor, so I’m still out there talking junk but I can’t participate in it, so it’s tough,” he said.

Booker’s disappointment is amplified after spending an entire summer in Charlotte trying to recover from a season in which he missed 34 games because of various ailments, including a strained right knee. He received a shock wave treatment on his knee last month but returned to pickup basketball too soon, which contributed to his latest setback. His practice time has mostly been spent doing strength exercises.

“Just keep building my muscles up around my knee,” Booker said. “When I’m healthy, I can give a lot of energy and just fly around the court. That’s how I make my money.”

Booker, who will be a restricted free agent next summer, doesn’t know when he’ll be back. “Will I be ready Tuesday? I’m not sure. Hopefully, I’ll be doing contact by then, but I’m not sure if they’ll let me play.”

He certainly won’t be able to sneak into the game.

Otto Porter Jr. remains sidelined with a sore right hip flexor and will not be available against the Nets.

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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