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Tuesday update

Caron Butler went through shootaround this morning and while he won't play tonight, the fact that he woke up feeling good and was able to get back on the court with teammates today is a very good sign that his left hip is feeling better. If you recall, he also practiced back on Feb. 18 but woke up the next morning with stiffness and pain, couldn't go through shootaround for that night's game against the Knicks and had not practiced again until yesterday.

The Wizards host the Bucks tonight in what is a very strange game for me to break down. On one hand, this is a team the Wiz neat to beat if they want to hold onto the sixth seed and put themselves in a good position for a rough stretch coming up that includes games against Cleveland, Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit and the five-game West Coast roadie. On the other, the Wizards are capable of losing to a team like the Bucks with Butler, who played the game of his life and scored 40 points in an OT loss in beertown back on Jan. 27 (the night he got hurt).

Anyway, every game is interesting, you have to give them that. Interesting piece on Milwaukee Andrew Bogut in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

On a somewhat sports related note: did you read about the five U.S. soldiers who were killed in Baghdad yesterday? Whenever news like that breaks, a part of me panics because one of my best friends is serving over there right now. His name is Sven Olson and we played football together back in the day at St. Olaf College. Anyway, Sven is one of the biggest sports fans in the world and when we talk, it's almost always about sports. We're both huge Minnesota Twins fans. Yesterday, after reading about the incident, I frantically e-mailed him for an update.
His reply says something about the life of a solider in a war zone and also says something about the importance otherwise meaningless games can have on us.

With his permission:

Yeah, I'm good but I can't say the same for a few dudes in my unit. The action usually picks up in the summertime but I'm hoping to avoid it myself. The good news is that they are talking about bringing us home in November - three months earlier than originally scheduled. So, I have my mid-tour leave in Sept/Oct (When Sven and I usually meet somewhere for a Vikings road game) which lasts a month afterwhich I should only have one month left in Baghdad. And that's good cuz I'm losing my (freaking) mind out here. Besides patrols, all I do is lift weights and do cardio workouts to ease the stress. I'm getting in some damn good shape though and that should certainly up the quality of talent I'm bringing (to the ladies). Anyway, take it easy and let's hope those Twins can give us something to cheer about in what has been a pretty down Minnesota sports year.
- Sven

I'll save my thoughts/opinions on this war but I really, really want to see my boy come home safe. We have a lot of beers to drink and sporting events to see before it's all said and done.

By Ivan Carter  |  March 11, 2008; 1:51 PM ET
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