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Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 11/25/2010

Al Thornton to miss "a couple of games" with sprained left ankle

By Michael Lee

Al Thornton was understandably disappointed on Thanksgiving. He was back in his home state of Georgia, but won't be able to play against the Hawks tonight because of a sprained left ankle that he aggravated in the first quarter of the Wizards' 116-114 win over Philadelphia two days before.

"And the games on TNT, too? What? Are you serious?" Thornton said when asked if he was upset that the injury would keep him out of the game.

But Thornton said the ankle injury will likely keep him out for "a couple of games," especially since it is the same ankle that forced him to miss two games in the preseason. He said that he tweaked the ankle last week in Boston but it worsened when he went up for a block and landed on JaVale McGee's foot.

"It's pretty bad," Thornton said. "I just turned it all the way over. I need to take a step back and really get healthy. I was just trying to get through it. I've been getting treatment on it. I didn't let it heal all the way."

Thornton started the season playing well, but hasn't been the same since suffering a stomach ailment against Charlotte on Nov. 12. In his first six games, Thornton shot 54.1 percent (40-of-74) and averaged 16 points, including a season-high 24 against Atlanta in a 99-95 loss last month. In the past seven, he is shooting 30.7 percent (16 for 52) and averaging just six points. He went scoreless in eight minutes against Philadelphia. Although the ankle has caused him problems of late, Thornton admitted, "I had the stomach pains and that threw me off a little bit."

"He's struggled lately," Coach Flip Saunders said, believing that the initial fear of a possible abdominal strain may have caused some problems. "He may be a little afraid to totally exert."

Saunders wouldn't confirm, but Thornton's injury opens the possibility for the Wizards to finally start their three guards -- John Wall, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich -- against the Hawks. Saunders said the team would continue to monitor Wall's minutes as he recovers from a sprained left foot. Wall scored 25 points off the bench against Philadelphia and was able to participate in the morning shootaround after developing some leg cramps in overtime.

Nick Young has been effective the past few games, but the team has been pleased with him coming off the bench and providing scoring. Thornton's scoring will be missed but Saunders said, "It'll help now that we've got John back. I wish we had Yi [Jianlian], we won't have Yi."
Yi will miss his sixth consecutive game after suffering a hyperexteneded right knee against Chicago on Nov. 13. Saunders said earlier this week that Yi is "a ways away" from returning.

Thornton said he wouldn't rush to get back. "I'm going to really let this thing heal before I try to get back on it. I just thought it was one of those nagging injuries that if you keep playing, keep treating, it'll get better with time, but I guess that's not the case. It's the same ankle I sprained real bad before the preseason, before the home opener. It's just nagging. I'm going to let it heal; do it the right way."

By Michael Lee  | November 25, 2010; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton  
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Next: Open thread: Wizards (5-8) at Hawks (8-7)

Comments

Start Gee, Martin, or NY. Not Kirk. Too many ball handlers & not enough rebounding

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 25, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I dont think Flip will go with Kirk since it didnt start too well in the 2nd half against Philly and we got alot better when we benched him for NY. Also, we are playing some big 3's coming up, including Lebron. Flip said in the Preseason that he wouldnt start that group against guys like Lebron so Im guessing he will go a different route tonight. Id rather have Booker on the bench with Yi out. It helps the rotation better

Posted by: dlts2041 | November 25, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This team has no starting SF, the coach need to to consider the size and speed of the opponent SF.I think gee will be the right defender against JJ or Williams who ever is starting at SF.I can not see the advantage of two undersized gards to swich on SF of any team, plus it does not help the rebounding.JM is good on the offensive bord, some one need to rotate every time he jump for the block on the defensive side.

Posted by: gtefferra | November 25, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

My crystal ball tells me that Kirk will probably start at the three. I believe Flip will want to preserve Nick's scoring off the bench and, with his guys getting healthy, he gets to see them start a game together for the first time this season. If he gets abused early, Flip still has the option of pulling him for Nick. I personally would start Martin and bring Kirk off the bench, but we KNOW Flip is not going to do that.

I fell asleep for the first eight minutes of the third quarter against Philly. I thought I heard Phil say that Flip started those three guys to open the second half? Is that true?

Posted by: bpybay | November 25, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The Hawk's will be looking to get "well" tonight against the Wiz here in the A-T-L the natives are getting restless sports talk show host and columnist at the AJC are taking the team to task especially after the Hawk's got off to a 6-0 start. The Hawk's have lost their last two games to the Celtics and Nets respectively, the Wizards can win this game but make no mistake the Hawks are going to be ready and so will their fans it will be imperative that Flip Saunders has this team ready to play.


Posted by: dargregmag | November 25, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ordinarily, I would say the Wiz have absolutely no chance this evening, what with Atlanta's increased sense of urgency having lost two in a row and being at home, coupled with the Wiz's big win over Philly and the inevitable letdown that would ordinarily ensue.

The X-factor, however, is the fact that we are on national TV again, and having been EXTREMELY embarrassed AND belittled (by both the Magic AND the TNT crew) the last time, I think we'll be ready this evening. This has the makings of a great game. I'm going to give Atlanta the edge at home, with the caveat that if we win, we will have turned a huge corner as far as our progression is concerned.

Posted by: bpybay | November 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@Samson151

Kalo_rama only agrees with himself 99% of the time. He is always right. He never gives anyoneelse credit, except by his own volition. So I pointedly throw darts at him just to see how he responds. posted by LarryInClintonMD"

"Larry, I admire your approach. It shows you are a big man. Great post, dargreg.Posted by: bpybay

Wait a minute -- before you all agree on what classy guys you are, didn't Larry just admit that he 'pointedly throw[s] darts' just to get a reaction?
Isn't that sort of sophomoric?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 25, 2010 1:18 Pm

Bringing up something from a past debate to show that the person was on the wrong side of the argument is not necessarily sophomoric. Gloating should be understandable when a person is proven to be wrong when he always thinks he is right. More importantly, there should no excuse for belittlement.

Posted by: spades72 | November 25, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Bringing up something from a past debate to show that the person was on the wrong side of the argument is not necessarily sophomoric. Gloating should be understandable when a person is proven to be wrong when he always thinks he is right. More importantly, there should no excuse for belittlement.Posted by: spades72"

Now you've lost me. Larry says that he 'pointedly' throws 'darts' at another poster just to see how he responds. Basically, game-playing. Or as the psychologists would call it, provoking behavior. He apparently feels morally superior when he gets a negative reaction.

That seem classy to you? Like something a 'big man' would do?

I guess we see things differently.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 25, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Well Samson151, the darts that I throw are all in the realm of the basketball comments here on the board. They aren't personal, but a poke at his point of view.

So, my darts are not to provoke a personal response, but actually to see if he will even evaluate or consider altering his pov atall.

He never does. Most times he just goes petty. If the pettiness was what I was looking for in my provokings/dart throwing, then why is it I never respond to the pettiness?

I am looking for thought provoking dialogue and to see if he will ever reexamine his position.

You yourself Samson151, obviously have mostly differing opinions than I, but you mostly never resort to personal attacks and you will always examine and explain not only your point but others as well.

Kalo_rama has many good points. Some time ago, I used to comment that he must have his coffee black. I made the comment to see if it would thaw him up a bit, but to no avail however.

However, Samson151, I have commented several times here that good conversation and discourse is a passion of mine, so my dart throwing is simply for that reason only.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 25, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I want to know WTF you fools are arguing about!!!

Posted by: Bullzards80 | November 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"However, Samson151, I have commented several times here that good conversation and discourse is a passion of mine, so my dart throwing is simply for that reason only.
LarryInClintonMD."

I don't think it leads to either good conversation or discourse.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 25, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse


I fell asleep for the first eight minutes of the third quarter against Philly. I thought I heard Phil say that Flip started those three guys to open the second half? Is that true?

Posted by: bpybay | November 25, 2010 1:58 PM

Yes, it is. If Flip starts 3 guards tonight, one of them should be Nick. He's a legit 6'7" and gives us a better chance against Josh Smith on the boards and obviously helps in the scoring department. Flip can't be pig-headed about starting the 'Kissed One', Kirk Hinrich.

On a different note, Blatche has been catching a lot of grief on this board lately, but I think tonight he'll have a 'throwback' game (all the way back to March of this year :-)) and BEAST!

Posted by: bobabuie | November 25, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it leads to either good conversation or discourse.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 25, 2010 4:51 PM

Yep, Samson151, you are right, it hasn't with him so far.

But, I could care less about the low handed remarks and the pettiness. That being said I'll keep trying draw out the old chap.

He is good, but not as good as he thinks he is, or could be.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD

I personally would never be sophomoric and take shots at poor ol kal just to get a response.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Thats good 78. LOL.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 25, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Taking a shot at someone's opinion is sophomoric but personal attacks are mature?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 25, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I hear you loud and clear.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 25, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

That 3 guard combo will start the Wiz in the hole. Kirk needs to come off of the bench and Gee or NY should start at the "3". This is not rocket science, Flip.......

How much are they paying Flip again? Wow, it must be nice.....

Posted by: BulletsFever | November 25, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

@larryinclinton

i see your point 20-20....for whatever comment you may make, mr. rama will dispute, refute and resort to personal denigration of your thought about anything relating to wizards. it doesn't really bother me because i learned to rise above the petty. he also makes good points about things. i guess i don't really like the personal attack that sometimes come with it, but he is a knowledgeable young man.....big ego also.

and no mr. rama, i don't want to debate the point because i cannot convince you through debate or otherwise. I enjoy reading everyone's perspective of the team. keep up the good work fellas, and ladies.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | November 25, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

i've said here a few times i'd like to see JaVale learn the skyhook to emulate kareem....now i think i'd like to see JaVale evolve into.....JaVale. create his own personna and be known for that. rise to that point where people hear the name, they know who you are talking about.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | November 25, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Now you've lost me. Larry says that he 'pointedly' throws 'darts' at another poster just to see how he responds. Basically, game-playing. Or as the psychologists would call it, provoking behavior. He apparently feels morally superior when he gets a negative reaction.

Posted by: Samson151 | November 25, 2010 3:47 PM

Not to prolong the argument but debates on this board never seems to end and when Larry pointedly throws darts at Kalo_rama often times there are references that are rehashed from an old debate. Such was the case when Lamar Odom came out and criticized Javale McGee. This particular subject was reharshed and Kalo_rama reacted in an unpleasant manner.

Posted by: spades72 | November 25, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

All our guards will make an occasional defensive play against a SF. None of them will consistently defend the position. Let me repeat, none can guard the SF position. They can barely guard the SG position. We have a terrible perimeter defense. I love the team, I despise the defense. Either our players are deficient or our system is deficient or our effort is deficient, someone can explain it to me.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | November 26, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Simple math:

Blatche + body fat

Posted by: bernard_thompson | November 26, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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