- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2005

While signs indicate Etan Thomas will be activated soon and Kwame Brown should be available tonight against the Seattle SuperSonics, the news on Steve Blake yesterday wasn’t nearly as good for the Washington Wizards.

Blake had to be helped from the court in Monday’s 112-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets after he sprained his left ankle.

“He’s going to be out for a while, I think,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “What is a while? At least a week to a week and a half. It could be three weeks.”

Blake is scheduled to have an MRI of his ankle when the swelling goes down. Yesterday the ankle was swollen and purple as he sat courtside watching the team practice.

Meanwhile, Thomas, who has yet to play a game this season because of a severely strained abdomen, practiced full tilt yesterday. Brown, who learned Tuesday he had no structural damage to his troublesome right ankle, also practiced yesterday and proclaimed himself ready to play. Brown has missed four games.

“Kwame looks good,” Jordan said. “It seems like there was not enough practice time. It seems like he even got in some extra work after practice. Both of them look like they are on the same timetable. It could be two to four days; it could be six days. But they both seem to be right there.”

Jordan said the key to identifying a big man’s readiness to play is seeing how he reacts when pushed or shoved while coming down for a rebound, unable to defend himself. Yesterday both players passed that test.

“They both are active and physical; they are taking a pounding,” Jordan said. “They both got hit going up in the air, and that is important. You can go out there and jump up and down all day, but when you get contact, that’s the true test as to how ready you are.”

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