- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2002

WILMINGTON, N.C. As part of his design to pace himself throughout the preseason, Michael Jordan had limited participation in yesterday's first workout before taking part in the evening session. Jordan got some conditioning work in the morning with his trainer, Tim Grover, and Wizards trainer Steve Stricker. He figures to follow a similar workout plan for the remainder of training camp.

"It's not frustrating because I know I'm going to get my chance to get out there and play," Jordan said. "It's not difficult for me to sit out the first practice and go back at it the second. I know when to push myself and when not to push myself."

Said coach Doug Collins: "We're going to work him once a day. He did some stuff with us this morning, and then tonight he'll come in and be a part of most of our practice."

Simmons brought back

It took all of 20 days for small forward Bobby Simmons to return to the Wizards after he was traded with Richard Hamilton and Hubert Davis in the Jerry Stackhouse deal.

Simmons, who became available after Detroit requested waivers on him Sept.24, was back at Trask Coliseum yesterday after the Wizards re-signed him. He will challenge Rod Grizzard for a spot at small forward.

"It's great to have Bobby back," Collins said. "It was a tough call for me when we made the trade. I like Bobby so much to make the call to wish him well in Detroit was a very hard call to make. To have him back is great. He fits in so well here with us."

Simmons averaged 3.7 points in 30 games last season; he missed 42 games with patella tendinitis in his left knee. He originally was acquired by the Wizards in a trade with Seattle in July 2001 for the draft rights to Predrag Drobnjak.

Brown, Thomas out

Kwame Brown and Etan Thomas didn't practice because of nagging hamstring injuries. Both rode a stationary bike during practice, and their status is day-to-day.

"I think the big thing you miss is in conditioning," Collins said. "The thing you worry about is them not being in the drills, the conditioning, and then you hope that when they come back, it's not something they reaggravate. We want to make sure it gets well."

With Jahidi White also recovering from knee surgery and scheduled to return early in the regular season, the Wizards began camp without three of their projected top four post players (Brendan Haywood is the only one healthy). The injuries are giving center Ratko Varda and forward Brian Cardinal, both acquired in the deal with Detroit, a good chance to receive instruction and become familiar with Collins' system.

New faces

The Wizards have two free-agent attendees in 6-foot-11 center Horacio Llamas and 6-7 swingman Jamal Robinson, who played for the team's entry in the Pro Summer League in Boston this summer.

With several injuries in their frontcourt, the Wizards have an opportunity for now to give Llamas practice time. Llamas became the first Mexican-born player to appear in an NBA game with the Dallas Mavericks in 1997. The 29-year-old played parts of two seasons with Phoenix in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Marathon men

A good sign for the Wizards: First-round draft picks Jared Jeffries and Juan Dixon were the last two players off the practice court after the morning session. "I wasn't even thinking about it, but [Dixon] said if you are going to be here, so am I," Jeffries said.

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