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Butler feels and looks good in return to practice

Caron Butler practiced for the first time since Feb. 18 and felt fine afterward. The next test, according to the all-star forward who has missed 19 games with a left hip injury, will be how he feels tonight and tomorrow. As Butler said a few minutes ago, he also felt good while practicing back on the 18th but woke up the next morning feeling "terrible."

A firm timetbale for Butler's possible return has not been set but what happened today was clearly a positive sign. Butler said he is meeting with a person who specializes in hip issues tonight.

"I felt good, real good," Butler said. "We'll see how the body responds tomorrow but, I was able to move around with no pain. At the end, we just decided to pull me out just because I was feeling a little soreness in the groin."

More Caron: "I just went out there and they threw me into the fire. Coach just said: "go and be you out there.' And I felt good. I had a nice rhythm and my teammates were looking for me. I just felt good."

Coach Eddie Jordan was very encouraged by what he saw: "He looked great today. A lot of burst, speed and explosion...great passing and just running up and down the floor. He just looked good today, a lot better than I thought. He went through 95 percent of practice and we just cooled him down at the end."

Gilbert Arenas did not practice and instead did rehab work in the training room. No fresh word on his possible return. Etan Thomas did practice and was in some five-on-five scrimmaging that I saw so that could be a sign that he's moving closer to a possible return to game action. It all depends on how he feels.

By Ivan Carter  |  March 10, 2008; 1:31 PM ET
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