Stevenson Aiming For Weekend Return

By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson missed his 14th consecutive game with a sore lower back on Monday night, but said he hopes to return to action either Friday in Philadelphia or Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Stevenson's streak of 275 consecutive games played was snapped on Dec. 23 in Charlotte.

Interim coach Ed Tapscott said he wants Stevenson to get at least two more practices in before putting him back on the floor. He added that the Wizards will also have two more shoot-arounds to get back into game rhythm.

"That'll give him four chances to get out on the floor," Tapscott said. "From a health standpoint, he's getting much better. Now it's conditioning and timing. You don't want to put a guy in and not have him feel like he's ready to play and feeling out of sorts."

Stevenson said he is eager to return to action. "It's still tight," Stevenson said of his back, "but the pain kind of went away in my leg -- a lot. I'm going to try to go out there and give it a shot. I just got to find a way to stop this pain."

Stevenson is averaging 6.9 points, but is shooting a career-low 31.8 percent. . . .

Etan Thomas, who has been out since Jan. 12 with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee, will be evaluated on Tuesday. The team hasn't made an official announcement, but he is likely done for the season. Thomas sat at the end of the bench last night for the first time since he was injured. . . .

Point guard Mike James served as the guest pastor at Chapel before the game. James was working the locker room trying to recruit his teammates to listen to his message.

Up Next Tomorrow at Miami 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Friday at Philadelphia 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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