The day came and went and John Williams was not activated. The injured forward's knee was fine, but he still was an achingly close five pounds away from the weight goal set by the Washington Bullets.

Whether Williams weighs 270 and the goal is 265, or he weighs 265 and the goal is 260 -- it depends on whom you ask -- the fact is he's five pounds off the mark.

And that's the only thing keeping him from being activated, because his knee has been given a clean bill of health from Bullets doctors.

General Manager John Nash said before last night's game with Atlanta that Williams's knee was "100 percent able to set for the weight we've prescribed for him."

Magnetic resonance imaging and X-rays of his right knee showed a healthy anterior cruciate ligament and slight tendinitis, which was to be expected.

Williams worked out before the game for almost an hour, shooting with reserve guard Byron Irvin. He looked much more fluid than he did last week, when he went out west on the team's road trip.

"{Coach} Wes {Unseld} worked out with him today," strength coach Dennis Householder reported, "and said he was a lot better than he was last week in Phoenix. I think he's at the point where he's this close and he really wants it. . . .

"John was probably more disappointed than anybody with the weight, because he thought that he had it. The doctors were happy with the amount of weight he lost in the short time that he did."

Householder also said that having had Williams run in the sand last week in Los Angeles was a mistake.

"That was probably not a good idea," Householder said. "But they had told me his knee was normal. It's really good for cardiovascular {conditioning} but maybe we just pushed a little too hard. The steady running we did was probably fine, but we did some stop-starts that probably weren't good.

"You don't just stop and turn, because that sand" is unstable.

The Bullets officially acknowledged that they would like to activate Williams next month.

"Realistically, assuming he's a week or more from achieving the weight," Nash said, "and then another week or more away in terms of practice time, we're looking at {that} as a realistic target."