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Oklahoman Published: January 12, 2007
West returns to practice
Hornets starting forward David West, who has missed the last 28 games because of inflammation of the synovial membrane in his right elbow, on Thursday went through his first full practice in nearly two months.

"It's another big step. We're happy it went well,” Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said. "The big test is how he feels the following day. We're happy with what he was able to do today. Hopefully, tomorrow it will still feel good.”

Hornets coach Byron Scott did not specify a return date for West, but it could be as early as next Friday's game at San Antonio.

"We'll probably have (West participate in) another couple full practices,” Scott said. "He still has a little weakness in the elbow as far as where he can extend it. We're just going to take it slow. He's anxious to get back, and we're anxious, too. But we still want him to get some more work in.”

West said he still cannot fully extend his right arm, but he received clearance to play from Dr. Carlan Yates, who performed the operation on Dec. 20.

"Feels good,” West said. "I'm just going to keep taking these baby steps. I'm not quite there yet, but there's no pain. You just don't want to run the risk of getting out there and doing something that will set you back. As long as the arm keeps progressing, we'll keep taking steps forward.”

West said he doesn't fear contact.

"The biggest thing is to make sure I'm ready, or putting too much stress or strain (on the elbow),” he said.

Paul progressing: Point guard Chris Paul shot free throws with the team Thursday without wearing a cumbersome walking boot.

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Wizards at Hornets
When: 7 tonight

Where: Ford Center

Television: ESPN (Cox channel 29)

Radio: KHBZ-FM 94.7

Probable starters

Hornets (13-22)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ass.
C Tyson Chandler 7-1 6.3 11.3 0.7
F Marc Jackson 6-10 9.4 3.6 1.3
F Desmond Mason 6-5 13.2 5.1 1.6
G Rasual Butler 6-7 11.1 3.4 1.2
G Devin Brown 6-5 10.8 6.2 3.3
Wizards (20-14)
C Brendan Haywood 7-0 6.6 6.6 0.7
F Antawn Jamison 6-9 19.4 8.4 1.8
F Caron Butler 6-7 21.2 8.1 3.9
G DeShawn Stevenson 6-5 9.7 2.7 2.5
G Gilbert Arenas 6-4 30.2 4.4 6.4


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