The Washington Post

Wizards’ Andray Blatche hopes to return Saturday

Andray Blatche has targeted Saturday against Cleveland for his return from a strained left calf that has kept him sidelined the past 14 games. Blatche has been out since getting injured in the first half of the Wizards’ 102-99 win in Charlotte last month.

“Saturday feels like Christmas for me. You know how when you’re a little kid,” Blatche said with a grin, before the Wizards hosted Orlando on Wednesday. “I think it’s going to be a good game for me. I think it’s going to be a good return. Hopefully, I can get back to being 7-Day ’Dray or something.”

Blatche has been working diligently the past two weeks, doing work in the pool and weight room, and even working out in preparation for a comeback with former teammate Awvee Storey at the practice facility.

The Wizards will have two days to prepare for the Cavaliers and Blatche hopes that it will be enough for him to be ready. Blatche dunked during pregame warmups.

“My leg is feeling good,” Blatche said. “Me and the trainer have been working out hard to strengthened and get it healthy and we’re going to test drive it tomorrow, during practice.”

Blatche said the past month has been challenging, especially since the Wizards have been on the road for the majority of the time he has been out. He has been able to stay connected with his teammates through Blackberry messages, but it wasn’t the same as the usual banter and joking that comes being around them.

“It does change, because you’re not around as much,” Blatche said of his role with the team while being injured. “Honestly, I haven’t seen much of the guys lately and you know we had the West Coast trip going on. Seeing everybody again, I was excited to be around them, because I haven’t seen them in forever.”

Blatche has been benched, heard his name mentioned in trade rumors, and had a disappointing season overall. But he is anxious to return and make amends. “I can’t wait to get back on the court. It’s something that’s a part of me. Even with all the bad things going on, I don’t care about it, I just want to go back to playing.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.



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