- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

As they close out their four-game West Coast road trip tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Washington Wizards face the possibility of playing another game without forward Caron Butler and point guard Antonio Daniels.

Butler, sidelined for the last four games with a strained left hip flexor, and Daniels, out for the last two games with bone spurs in his right ankle, both will be game-time decisions tonight.

Yesterday was a travel day for the Wizards, who suffered their eighth straight defeat with a 120-117 loss at Golden State on Monday night, so there was no practice.

Butler, whom Wizards coach Eddie Jordan believed was further along in his recovery than Daniels, leads the team in scoring with 21.4 points a game in Gilbert Arenas’ absence.

Arenas is recovering from knee surgery.

Butler originally suffered the injury in a loss at Milwaukee on Jan. 27. He missed three games and returned Feb. 3 against the Lakers.

Two days later while playing at Philadelphia, Butler felt his hip lock up on him while he backpedaled down the court, and he has missed the last four games. He admits he rushed back and said this time around he wants to be sure he’s totally healed so the injury doesn’t keep flaring up during the second half of the season.

Butler was selected to his second straight All-Star Game, which is Sunday in New Orleans, but his status for that remains uncertain.

Daniels, who started 33 games in place of Arenas, had played recently despite suffering soreness in both his knee and ankle. His ankle grew increasingly worse, and he said he learned in the Philadelphia game that bone spurs, which prevent him from accelerating or jumping, caused it.

Daniels played just six minutes in Friday’s loss at Denver. After Sunday’s loss to Phoenix, Daniels — averaging 8.7 points and 5.0 assists — said the pain hadn’t subsided much, but he hoped to return today.

A team spokesman said yesterday that the players and the medical staff would see how they felt today and make a decision from there.


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