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Oklahoman Published: January 28, 2007
Paul to practice full-time Tuesday
Hornets coach Byron Scott said Saturday that injured point guard Chris Paul would return to practice full-time on Tuesday.

Paul has been out with a Grade 3 (severe) right ankle sprain since Dec. 26 and has missed 16 games.

Scott still refuses to guess when Paul will return to game action. Paul was expected to miss 4-7 weeks with the injury. Tuesday will be the five-week mark.

"The thing that's crazy with him is every shoot-around (on game day), he wants to go 5-on-5,” Scott said. "He is so eager to get back on the court and just try it. I think that's the biggest thing.”

Scott said trainer Terry Kofler gave Paul clearance for Tuesday's return.

"I said, ‘What? Don't you think that might be a little too soon?' ” Scott said. "But Terry said, ‘Chris has done everything we've asked him to do, and he looks good doing it, so the next step is a practice.' We'll practice Tuesday and practice Thursday. I already know what (Paul's) mindset is. It'll be a good test for him.”

Paul is averaging a team-leading 18.4 points and 9.0 assists to go with 4.4 rebounds in 27 games this season.

Shinn sighting: Hornets owner George Shinn on Saturday night attended his first game at the Ford Center since Dec. 22, sitting courtside with his wife, Denise. One night earlier, Shinn sat courtside for the Hornets' game against the Sacramento Kings inside New Orleans Arena.

Sticking it to Sloan: Guard Devin Brown had a little extra incentive to help the Hornets win on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz. Brown played 81 games last season with the Jazz, but he was unhappy with how much playing time he received from coach Jerry Sloan.

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Tyson Chandler shoots for two of his eight points in the Hornets' 94-83 victory against Utah on Saturday. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN

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