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Thomas Practices, Experiences Setback

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wizards center Etan Thomas, who has been out since undergoing heart surgery on Oct. 11, participated in his first contact practice Monday but experienced a setback that likely will delay his return to game action.

"He went through some contact [Monday] and felt he took a shot and really didn't like the experience of that pain," Coach Eddie Jordan said before last night's game against the Knicks. "So we might not see him for a while in some contact drills. We're going to give him some more time to recover."

The surgery that Thomas had required doctors to break the sternum, and the healing of that bone, not the heart itself, will be the key factor in determining when he will be cleared to play.

Thomas has been wearing protective padding over the area and had been making progress toward a return. Neither Thomas nor the team had established a timetable, although Jordan said that a return this season remains a possibility. "Yeah, it's realistic because he's made it this far," Jordan said. "Now, how he progresses with the physical contact, that's the last hurdle. Again, there are some things we have to evaluate."

Standing Pat

The Wizards likely will not make any moves before the NBA's trade deadline, which is tomorrow at 3 p.m.

"I like this team," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said. "We just have to get healthy and see what we can do here in these final 30 games."

UP NEXT: Friday at Cleveland 8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, ESPN, WTEM-980

Saturday vs. Charlotte 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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