Guard Gus Williams cannot resume light workouts until Thursday, the Washington Bullets announced yesterday. It is unlikely Williams, who sprained his left ankle Oct. 13, will be ready for Friday night's opener in Chicago.

Doctors did clear forward Cliff Robinson and guard Jeff Malone to resume practice Wednesday. Robinson, acquired in the three-way draft-day trade in which the Bullets obtained Williams, hurt a shoulder in the Oct. 13 exhibition and has been bothered by back spasms. Malone twisted his right ankle Thursday.

Greg Ballard, the team's starting small forward the last five years, remains unsigned. General Manager Bob Ferry and attorney Larry Fleisher said over the weekend they were close to a deal. But yesterday, Ferry said, "I have no idea what they're doing with the damn thing. Why don't you call Fleisher?" A spokesman for Fleisher said, "There's nothing new."

From Miami, where the Bullets closed their exhibition season by beating the New Jersey Nets, 94-92, last night, Coach Gene Shue said he probably would not name his starting lineup until Thursday. He did say that if Williams plays, he probably would be paired with Dudley Bradley, a former No. 1 draft choice of the Pacers who signed as a free agent this fall.

Asked if Robinson would start at power forward, Shue said, "I'm not positive of that. He has missed a lot of work. We'll wait and see who really is ready."

Williams, the man the Bullets are relying on to put some life and speed in the offense, was unavailable for comment, but Shue would not rule out the possibility of Williams playing against the Bulls. "You never know," he said. "That's probably true (that he won't be ready). But Gus might say he feels good."