Andray Blatche says he'll be ready for training camp
Andray Blatche assured me in a text message today that he will be ready when training camp begins on Sept. 28. Blatche had his boot removed about 10 days ago and has been moving without discomfort, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said on Monday. Grunfeld would not commit to a time when Blatche would be back on the court.
Although Blatche has been riding a bike and working on the elliptical machine in recent days, Grunfeld said he has yet to be cleared to participate in basketball related activities. Grunfeld added that Blatche was able to keep down his weight despite limited mobility.
"He's making good progress," Grunfeld said, "but we're not going to rush."
Blatche had surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot last June and was expected to miss three months. He averaged career-highs of 14.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season and his production increased following trade deadline deals that shipped out Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood.
The Wizards extended a contract tender last week to second-round pick Hamady N'Diaye, ensuring that the team would retain his rights. The team had until Sept. 5 to make the offer - which was a non-guaranteed contract worth the league minimum - before N'Diaye became an unrestricted free agent.
The Wizards still expect N'Diaye to play in Europe next season, although N'Diaye's agent, Keith Glass, told the Washington Examiner last week that his client's limited playing time during summer league damaged his prospects for work overseas.
"We'll see how everything shakes out," Grunfeld said, when asked if there is a chance that N'Diaye comes to training camp. "He's a good defensive player, a good rebounder, but he has a lot to learn, like most young players."
Veteran big man Sean Marks has accepted an invitation to try out for the Wizards, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Marks, a 6-foot-10 center from New Zealand, has career averages of 3.0 points and 2.3 in a 10-year career in Toronto, Miami, San Antonio, Phoenix and New Orleans, where the 35-year-old spent the past two seasons.
Cartier Martin has also informed the Wizards of his plans to participate in training camp, but the team is still waiting for confirmation from Lester Hudson.
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