- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Seen and heard last night at Madison Square Garden in New York:

OFF THE BENCH — After playing 82 minutes in the last two games — his first back after missing six with ankle and knee ailments — Jerry Stackhouse was pulled from the starting lineup. He was replaced by Mitchell Butler.

At this point of the season, after missing 45 games because of knee surgery, you have to wonder why Stackhouse isn’t allowed to shut it down for the rest of the season to rehabilitate the knee.

“We’re thinking that it’s part of his rehab,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said before the game. “For him to play and get strengthening on off days is good for him so he can get where he has to be.”

Jordan, who made no mention before the game that Stackhouse would not start, did indicate that some changes could be coming.

“We are in discussions of alternative plans,” Jordan said. “Maybe more practice time, maybe less practice time. Maybe less game time, that sort of thing. We are always trying to figure the best way to get him healthy.”

DIXON SITS — Wizards guard Juan Dixon joined the team’s ranks of the walking wounded, sitting out with bursitis in his left elbow.

Dixon might play tonight against Sacramento, but it was clear his elbow was bothering him.

“He’s day-to-day but it looks grim,” Jordan said.

“It’s painful,” said Dixon, who is uncertain if he can play tonight. “I’m going to try. I’m going to see how it feels when I wake up. But as of right now, it feels like it did yesterday — it’s pretty tender.”

Dixon, who did not dress against the Knicks, has no idea what caused the ailment.

“I just woke up Sunday and it was swollen and real tender,” he said. “Right now I can’t fully extend my arm. I thought it was because of the injury I had last year but [trainer Steve Stricker] said it has nothing to do with that.”

Dixon suffered a tendon injury to his left elbow last season.

John N. Mitchell

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