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Pecherov Suits Up, Still Doesn't Play

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By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Oleksiy Pecherov last put on a Wizards game uniform in the preseason. Since suffering a hairline fracture to his right ankle after coming down awkwardly on the foot of teammate Dominic McGuire on Oct. 29, Pecherov has been on the sideline, waiting for the ankle to heal.

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Pecherov experienced no setbacks while going through a full practice for the first time Monday and he suited up for last night's game against the Houston Rockets, but he did not see game action. Despite remaining on the bench last night, things are finally starting to look up for the 2006 first-round pick who has waited a long time to make his regular season debut.

"It feels good to be back out there with the guys," said Pecherov, who figured to at least see spot duty in Coach Eddie Jordan's rotation after the preseason. "I had to be patient and let the [ankle] get stronger and now I can start working on my conditioning and become familiar with the plays."

Mason's Ties to Gibbs

Wizards guard Roger Mason Jr. met Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs as a teenager when his stepfather, former Redskin Otis Wonsley, introduced the two during a visit to Redskins Park. Years later, when Mason was trying to decide whether to leave the University of Virginia as an early entrant in the NBA draft, Mason called Gibbs for advice.

"He told me to follow my heart," Mason said. "He's someone I have a lot of respect for as a man and a football coach. You don't replace a guy like that, a Hall of Famer who is also a really good man. I wish him well."

UP NEXT: Friday at Atlanta 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Saturday vs. Boston 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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