The Washington Times - March 10, 2008, 01:49PM

Caron Butler took part in his first full-speed practice in three weeks and said his left hip, which has a small labral tear in it, felt good. Because he had nearly a full squad for the first time in almost a month, Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan didn’t spend much time on drills, but instead ran a full five-on-five scrimmage. He said he was surprised at how well Butler — who has missed the 19 games, including the last 16 with the injury — looked. But the team will continue to proceed cautiously. The Wizards are flying in from Los Angeles a specialist, who has worked with some of the USC basketball players who have had similar injuries, to evaluate Butler. He will run Butler through a series of tests tonight and help give the player and organization a better feel for his condition and progress.\

\ Butler, who wore a brace on his groin and hip area for support, later spoke and here was his take on his first practice back:\


\ “I felt real good, gonna see how the body responds tomorrow. But I was able to move around with no pain. And at the end, probably the last five minutes of practice, decided to pull me off to get a little ice, because of compensation I had a little tightness in my groin area. So, I just pulled off.”\

\ On how much contact he took:\ “I played live. We got right into it, I scrimmaged. I got a lot of contact, got to cut, got a lot of contact. Felt great.”\

\ On his main concern — outside of injury — coming into practice:\ “Just a basketball rhythm in general after you talk about getting past the pain. Just getting a rhythm and getting your legs under you. And It seems to be all there. I was excited to get back on the court, do some explosive things.”\

\ On if he was surprised by how well it went:\ “Yeah, I was. I just went out there, and he put me right in the fire. He said, ‘Go, play your game and do you out there. And I felt pretty good. I had a nice rhythm and I felt pretty good. My teammates were looking for me because they wanted me to get a feel for everything, but overall I felt pretty good until the last five minutes. I felt a little tight.”\

\ On a timetable for his return:\ “The thing is, we don’t wanna put a timetable on it. Just see how my body feels and we’ll go off that. Because, probably a couple weeks ago, I had a great practice and the next day I felt horrible. So, we’ll just see how it is tomorrow and go off of that.”\

\ — Mike Jones