The Washington Times - February 23, 2009, 02:37PM

Wizards center Brendan Haywood, who is working his way back from wrist surgery, was back on the practice court today with his teammates after just being cleared by his doctor to resume non-contact drills.



Since his surgery in November, Haywood had been taking babysteps back, working even to develop his left hand. In the last two weeks he began taking some right-handed shots, and today went through significant stretches of practice.


“I feel ok, it’s part of the process, just getting better and just waiting until my time,” Haywood said. “Gradually I’ve been shooting and then more and more and the less restriction I feel the more and more I shoot.”


Today after beginning his day with a weight-lifting session, getting in some shots, cardio and running through practice, Haywood played one-on-one with volunteer assistant coach Tony Massenburg, and looked pretty good. He was knocking down turnaround jumpers along the baseline and catching the ball, spinning and dunking, all with his right hand.


“It’s right around where I thought it would be,” Haywood said. “I had the privelege to talk to Allen Houston over the year and he had the same injury and he just walked me through the process and so far he’s been right on. He said I’d probably be able to shoot a month, month and a half before you play because that flexibility comes back but the other flexibility is more restrictive.”


Haywood said he hasn’t even thought as far ahead to as if he’ll return this season and said the next step is returning to his doctor in a few weeks to see the progress that’s been made and then go from there.


Ed Tapscott said that Gilbert Arenas is indeed practicing. But like Haywood, he’s not going through total contact portions of the practices. There are drills involving more than one player that both Haywood and Arenas go through, making passes and cutting to the basket and such, but no full-blown contact scrimmaging.