Kevin Grevey, the Bullets' highest-scoring returning player, will be in uniform this morning although he still has not signed an official contract.
The six-year veteran who averaged 17.2 points per game last season showed up for the opening workout last Friday, but has not returned since participating in conditioning drills that morning.
"We expect Kevin to practice tomorrow morning," General Manager Bob Ferry said during yesterday's workouts at Fort Meade. "He's missed a lot of work already, but now we've got everything straightened out."
Scott Lang, Grevey's attorney, said late yesterday that the official players association contract has not been signed, but that both sides have reached "an interim arrangement and that Kevin will be at practice."
The problems began when the Bullets said they would match the Indiana Pacers' offer to Grevey of $350,000 annually for four years, but tried to alter some of the other clauses in the pact.
"I'd rather not comment on the details of the contract, but it doesn't seem to be anything we can't work out," Lang said from his office in Cambridge, Mass. "Both sides have determined that Kevin will be legally protected if he is injured, so there is no reason why he can't begin practicing."
Coach Gene Shue said he was looking forward to Grevey's arrival because the team has been shorthanded in the back court. In addition to Grevey, Frank Johnson, the Bullets' No. 1 draft choice, has been missing.
"We've really been slowed with so many people out," Shue said. " Johnson and Grevey are a big part of our backcourt and we've also been without (Jeff) Ruland. Those are three very important players."
Ruland, the 6-foot-11 rookie from Iona who played in Spain last season, has been sidelined since Saturday with a sprained left ankle.
"It's getting better," he said yesterday after receiving ultasound treatments. "Most of the swelling is gone and I hope to start playing in a couple of days."
Shue has scheduled an intrasquad game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Dunbar High School and is hoping Grevey and Johnson will be able to play.
"We're expecting Johnson to practice Friday afternoon," Ferry said of the 6-2 guard from Wake Forest. "The doctor's report Tuesday was encouraging. He's going to see Frank again Friday morning and we hope he'll give him permission to play right away."
When Johnson took his physical examination before the first practice, high blood pressure was detected. Dr. Herbert Singer, the team's internist, said Tuesday that there has been considerable improvement and Johnson should be playing by this weekend.
Shue admitted it has been difficult to work on the team's offense without Grevey and Johnson and expressed fear that the rookie, in particular, will have a great deal of catching up to do.
"Frank is way behind now," the coach said. "He didn't work with us in the summer, he missed rookie camp and now at least a week of regular camp. For a player who is going to handle the ball, he's got an awful lot to learn."
Brad Holland, the three-year veteran acquired from Los Angeles in the Mitch Kupchak deal, has been working with Kevin Porter on the first unit and has impressed Shue.
"Brad has done quite well," the coach said. "He's a very good outside shooter, he executes the plays and he tries to play defense. He can also handle the ball and probably can be used at either guard spot."
Don Collins, a swing man who played quite a bit of guard last season after being obtained from Atlanta in a midseason trade for Wes Matthews, has been playing mostly forward. Other guards who have played well are rookies Ed Odem from Oklahoma and Percy Davis, a rookie who graduated from Rhode Island in 1978 and has been playing in Europe.