King practices, is given part of his physical exam

January 03, 1993|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- In what could well have been a sneak preview, forward Bernard King staged a 30-minute workout at the Capital Centre last night before the Washington Bullets' game with the Miami Heat.

King, 36, who has not played for the Bullets since undergoing knee surgery in September 1991, successfully underwent a stress test yesterday.

Team orthopedist Steve Grossman planned to examine King's knee last night, and King was expected to complete his physical examination by tomorrow, possibly making him eligible to return to action against the Philadelphia 76ers here Friday night.

Team officials remained cautiously optimistic after watching the 13-year NBA veteran, who averaged 28.4 points in his last full season (1990-91) for Washington, run, cut and shoot without any sign of pain or difficulty.

"I knew when Bernard showed up, he'd be in good shape," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld. "Whether it's good enough to play at this level, I don't know at this point."

King shunned interviews, preferring to wait until his final medical clearance.

But that did not stop others from speculating on what impact he might have on a young, struggling team needing leadership.

"B's an All-Star. That's all you need to know," said center Pervis Ellison. "I knew he'd be back. That's his personality. Nobody but Bernard will decide when his career is over."

King has carefully orchestrated his arduous rehabilitation regimen at his home in New Jersey, with the help of his personal surgeon, Dr. Norman Scott, and his physical therapist, Dania Sweitzer.

"We were getting weekly progress reports from Dr. Scott that indicated his knee was tolerating more and more," said general manager John Nash, who otherwise has had little contact with his injured star forward.

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