- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Thomas: ‘I’m pretty much ready’
Question of the Day
Three months after surgery to repair a leak in his aortic valve, Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas said he intends to return this season.
Thomas’ press conference came six days after he was cleared for noncontact drills and two days after the seven-year veteran paid the Wizards a surprise visit during Saturday’s practice.
Thomas must wait for the Wizards’ doctors to clear him before he can resume practicing with the team.
“This is something new for them, so they’re being a little bit extra cautious, which is understandable, but I’m pretty much ready now,” Thomas said. “They just gotta do all the tests they feel necessary, and then I’ll be back with the team.”
Said coach Eddie Jordan: “There’s no real timetable. We just have to see how his endurance has to build up, and his legs have to get used to playing and keeping the pace of NBA game, and he’ll have to fit in with the chemistry of how everything is going.”
Thomas, 29, attended training camp with the Wizards in October ready to compete with Brendan Haywood for the starting center spot. But the team held him out of the first practice when his physical showed a heart irregularity.
Thomas, who averaged 6.1 points and 5.8 rebounds last season, says he learned in middle school he had a heart murmur and grew accustomed to playing with it. He assumed he would have surgery to correct the leaky valve when he was in his “50s or 60s.”
“I felt fine,” Thomas said of his condition before the surgery. “But before I had the surgery, my doctors showed me there was a difference in some of my numbers, and it was a good time to have the surgery then.
“If I had’ve waited longer, the more complicated the surgery would’ve been and the more risks there would’ve been for different parts of the surgery.”
Thomas had surgery Oct. 11 at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and was released about eight days later. He returned to his home in Maryland to begin rehabilitation.
Early on, he was extremely weak, unable even to lift his 2½-year-old son, Malcolm. He took 10-minute walks and then was so tired he had to go back to sleep. But the walks gradually grew longer and turned into jogs on the treadmill and then runs.
Earlier this month, Thomas spent 10 days at IMG Academies, where he was monitored while training hard and then received clearance to resume basketball drills.
Thomas expects to contribute to the Wizards once team doctors and coaches give him the OK, but he understands it will be a gradual process.
“I’ll just come back and do what I do — come out, play hard, have a defensive presence, play physical inside and just blend in with what everyone else had been able to accomplish.”
Thomas shared minutes last season with Haywood. Haywood started 49 games while Thomas started 32, most of them in the second half of the season. The shared playing time created tension between the two, and the centers fought three times in practice during the last two seasons.
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors