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Thomas Is Cleared For Light Practice

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By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BOSTON, Jan. 14 -- Wizards center Etan Thomas has been cleared to participate in non-contact drills, such as shooting and running. Thomas hasn't played this season after having surgery to repair a leak in his heart.

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Thomas underwent aortic valve replacement surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on Oct. 11. It had been speculated that the six-year veteran wouldn't return this season, but a team spokesman said that no timetable has been set.

One That Got Away

The Celtics are the league's most efficient defensive team, leading the NBA in points allowed and opponents' field goal percentage. The man credited for much of the turnaround is defensive-minded assistant Tom Thibodeau -- Jeff Van Gundy's former top assistant in New York and Houston -- who accepted a job with the Wizards over the summer then left after one day. Asked about Thibodeau's success this season, Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan smiled and said, "It's good to be packaged with [Kevin Garnett], that helps."

Jordan said Thibodeau was his first choice, but he wasn't surprised by the change of heart. "It wasn't a major shock. It's the NBA," he said. "We had just seen the Billy Donovan situation in Orlando. It was right around the same time."

Arenas Still a Fan Favorite

Gilbert Arenas hasn't worn a jersey in some time, but he has the seventh-most popular jersey, according to sales figures compiled from the NBA Store and the league's Web site. Boston's Kevin Garnett has the top-selling jersey.

UP NEXT: Today at Knicks 7:30 p.m. CSN-Plus, WTEM-980

Friday vs. Knicks: 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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