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More Caron, Thursday update

To expand on my earlier post: Caron Butler, who has missed the last 13 and 16 of the last 18 games with a left hip injury, said he will test the hip in practice on Monday and remains cautiously optimistic that if things go well in a series of practices, he'll be able to return to game action at some point.

To be clear: no officially timetable has been established for Butler's return.

Caron on how he plans to procede: "My body is going to send me a message about whether I'm going to be able to play. My body feels great and It's getting better gradually so we'll see how it plays out."

More on that: "I have to get some practices under my belt and see how my body responds to the practices, get some type of basketball rhythm back and see how it all plays out."

Before a second MRI exam revealed that Butler has a slight tear in the left labrum, he said he thought about shutting it down for good this season but the diagnosis soothed his fears. "That gave me closure because now, I know what it is and now we know how to deal with it instead of just putting your heads together and you've got four or five people saying: 'maybe we should do this, but we don't know exactly what treatment to do.' Now, we've got an eye on it and we know exactly what it was and exactly how to approach it."

More on that: "The only reason why I thought about shutting it down was, we didn't know what it was. Once we did more research, we found out what it was and it's not as serious as it once was thought to be."

In retrospect, did you come back too quickly for the Lakers game on Feb. 3 (he aggravated the injury two days later in Philly and hasn't played since): "I think it would have been a great idea to shut it down but once again, we didn't know exactly what it was and I ended up going out there with supposedly a muscle sprain, I mean, I've played with fractures and stuff so I thought I could go out there and play through it and that wasn't the case. Once it kept bothering me, I knew it was more serious that we thought it was. Then we did some more research and found it that it was an actual tear, a slightl tear, but still, it was a tear. But, now I'm feeling better and hopefully that will the case the rest of the year and throughout my career."

On the possibility that the tear was always there: "That is a possibility and then with what happened to me in Milwaukee (on Jan. 27), I aggravated it. That's what we're hoping that I just aggravated it and muscles and things tensed up but now I'm back to normal and I can procede."

Caron said that if the hip continues to be a problem, surgery would be a last option but he clearly would like to avoid that at all costs. "That will be the very last option. I'd have to play and get pulled out again, play and get pulled out again and play with pain and use all types resources before I'm like OK, 'you can cut me a little bit.' No, that's not an option. I think I'm going to be fine, honestly."

Other news and notes: Gilbert Arenas practiced again today and was moving pretty well on his left knee. Again, we only see limited action at the end of practice so I can't tell you too much about what he is doing. He went through a full practice for the first time on Tuesday and said he felt fine yesterday so that's a positive sign.

Coach Eddie Jordan talked a little bit about it after practice. "He looked OK. I thought he looked better two practices ago but we did some things that were new to him, some defensive schemes that I wanted him to touch on and get a feel for so that sort of screws you up, when you think and try to do your work (Eddie said this while cracking on Chick Hernandez of Comcast)....We want him to get into a muscle memory habit with our defensive schemes, our pick-and-roll (reads) and those kinds of things so, he was out there thinking and moving and wasn't as instinctive as he was in his first practice."

Oh, and since there is a lot of speculation going around about Gilbert's future, let me save everyone time and energy: Gilbert Arenas will be a Wizard next season. It's simple really. As has been laid out over and over gain: He wants a max contract and the Wiz can give him one more year and more money that any other team. Also, the only teams that might have money to spend are going to be bad teams and as Gilbert told me once: "I ain't going to no bottom feeding team."

By Ivan Carter  |  March 6, 2008; 1:13 PM ET
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