By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 9, 2008
DENVER, Feb. 8 -- Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler missed his second straight game with a strained left hip flexor and the team says he is day-to-day.
Butler, who has missed six games this season, was replaced in the starting lineup for Friday's game against the Nuggets by third-year forward-center Andray Blatche, and will be further evaluated Saturday when the Wizards practice in Phoenix.
The Wizards the Suns on Sunday night, at Golden State on Monday night and close the trip in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Wednesday night.
"Hopefully he can return before the trip is over," Coach Eddie Jordan said. "But I don't know about Phoenix."
The Wizards entered Friday's game with a record of 1-4 without Butler this season and were 7-28 in games without him since the 2005-06 season.
Blatche entered Friday's game averaging 15.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3 blocks as a starter this season. Though five starts is a small sample size, it is worth noting that Blatche and Clippers center Chris Kaman are the only players in the league averaging at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in games started this season.
Along with Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson, Blatche is also the only Wizard who has played in every game this season.O'Neal Uncertain
As of Friday night, the Wizards didn't know whether they would see Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday night in Phoenix. O'Neal, who was introduced during a news conference on Thursday, did not play Friday in the Suns' game against Seattle and has said that he hopes to play before the all-star break (Feb. 14-18).