- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 2, 2004

The Washington Wizards and star swingman Jerry Stackhouse say he might be able to return to the team before the season is over.

An examination by team physicians yesterday determined there is no structural damage to Stackhouse’s surgically repaired right knee. However, it did reveal he has tendinitis in both ankles.

“There is no structural damage with anything,” Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld said. “He does have tendinitis and some of that is probably new.”

“Hopefully, [his return] will be a few days, maybe a week,” Stackhouse said last night. “I don’t really have a time limit on it. I just have to feel better and from talking to everybody involved, from that point we just have to do things so I can feel better.”

Grunfeld said the Wizards do not plan to place Stackhouse on the injured list. Rather, he will continue with a program of therapy and rehabilitation that ideally will get him back on the court before the season is over. Grunfeld said there is no time frame for Stackhouse’s return.

Following the Wizards’ 122-110 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Stackhouse said he intended to shut it down for the remaining 24 games of the season.

Stackhouse, on the bench in street clothes last night, watched the Wizards defeat the New Orleans Hornets 111-106 in overtime at MCI Center.

Stackhouse missed the first 45 games of the season following surgery on his right knee and has lacked his trademark explosiveness in the 12 games he has played this season. An eight-year veteran and two-time All-Star, Stackhouse has averaged 14.1 points this season. His career average is 21.3.

With just 24 games remaining in the season, the Wizards will have to determine whether it is worth suiting up Stackhouse again. Stackhouse is signed through the 2006-2007 season after agreeing to an extension last summer that will pay him $33million over the life of the deal.

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