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Thursday update

Not a whole lot to update from today's practice. Everyone participated with the exception of forward Darius Songaila, who was excused to handle a "dental situation" in the words of Eddie Jordan. Songaila was expected to fly with the team to Atlanta and be available for tomorrow night's game against the Hawks.

-Oleksiy Pecherov went through another full practice and though he expects to be bothered by swelling in and around his right ankle for the rest of the season, he said he is ready for game action should Coach Eddie Jordan call his name. Knowing Eddie, he will likely look for a spot to get Pecherov in either tomorrow night or Saturday night against Boston. The team is playing four games in five nights so he'll use that bench.

-Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler both said that they fully expect to have Gilbert Arenas back before the season. Last week, Gilbert left the door open, saying that he may return anytime between early and mid March or sit out entirely. I doubted that last part and so do his teammates.
Antawn: "He likes to keep you guys (us ink-stained wretches) guessing but in my mind, there's no doubt that he's coming back.

Caron: "Every time I drive into the arena, I see that big sign saying: "I'll be back." So, come March 1 or the second week of March, he's going to be itching to come back."

-Caron will be on Inside the NBA tonight with Charles, Kenny and Ernie Johnson but doesn't have anything planned. "Anything I say will come right off the dome."

-Antawn had a funny quote when asked about Pecherov, who is not afraid to chuck up some shots. Matter of fact, dude is a Ukrainian version of Jamison.
Antawn: "I wouldn't say that he reminds me of myself but he likes to get 'em up."

-And one last thing. When I wrote my previous blog entry the other day about the guys getting challenged by some of the vets to grow up a little bit, I left out Roger Mason Jr. when mentioning the hardest working guys on the team. He's right up there when it comes to arriving early, staying late and doing whatever he needs to do to say prepared. The results speak for themselves.

By Ivan Carter  |  January 10, 2008; 5:47 PM ET
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