The Wizards had Caron Butler back on the practice court today, three days after he went down with a bruised left knee in their loss to Atlanta, and two days after he watched his team smack up the New Jersey Nets.
Butler went through everything with no problem today, and immediately following practice, Flip Saunders said “Yeah, he’s going to play” Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
Butler came out a little bit later and sounded a bit more cautious, but said he is anxious to play against the Cavaliers, but wants to see how his knee responds in the morning.
“I feel decent,” Butler said. “I’ll see how I feel in the morning, and if I feel alright, I’ll definitely give it a go. There’s still a little soreness. It felt good in practice. I was out there able to move around, able to perform at full speed, so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
Butler recounted what happened Friday night as, “Diving for the ball, I played a couple minutes afterwards, came back to the bench, felt a little stiffness, little tightness, it swelled up a little bit, had a nice bruise. So Doc felt it was probably best to sit out a game see how it feels, rested yesterday, went out there hard today. Feel a little sore now, but it looks like I’ll be able to go tomorrow.”
Butler said he tried to play Saturday night for the home opener, but was cautioned to take the night off instead of rushing back and turning a problem that could be cured with three to five days rest into a month-long nightmare. He admitted his surprise over getting hurt over what he thought was a simple, yet team-energizing play.
“You try to set the tone and do something. I felt the energy kinda drop a little bit. We came out to a great start against Atlanta,” Butler said. “And as a leader of the ball club, you want to do something to get the squad back going. Some times you get a steal, get the dunk or something, or do something just to get us excited. I tried diving [for] the ball, and I was able to make the play, but unfortunately felt it. I didn’t feel it that moment, it was after. Guess I was still hyped, patting myself on the back for that hustle.
“I was very scared, but after getting the x-ray, the MRI, my mind was clear,” Butler added. “But I was very scared initially, because a litle stiffness, soreness little swelling don’t feel right. And when you’ve had any problems with your knees, your alertness goes up. But I’m OK.”