Bullets' Price 'very pleased' with foot in first practice All-Star plays 10 minutes after 2-month absence

January 02, 1996|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

BOWIE -- On the first day of the new year, the Washington Bullets were again without star forward Chris Webber, who rested his strained left shoulder. But the team did get a glimpse at four-time All-Star guard Mark Price, who practiced for the first time since the preseason.

Price didn't practice long, as doctors limited him to 10 minutes. But with the point guard sitting out the first two months of the season after surgery to repair a torn plantar fascia of his left heel, having Price participate in a full-contact scrimmage was

encouraging.

"I felt pretty good," Price said. "I was very pleased with my foot. It felt like I hadn't played in a while. The real test will be when I wake up in the morning, how it will react."

Price said he was "discouraged" to hear that Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Micheal Williams, who had the same surgery, apparently is out for the season after playing in just eight games.

"That's why we want to be careful and not do anything too quickly that we might regret down the road," Price said. "I'm going to play when I'm ready."

That's the same thing being said by Webber, who fell on his shoulder in Friday's win over the New York Knicks. Webber sat out Saturday's win over Milwaukee, and was hopeful to play tonight against Cleveland.

He said he was less sore yesterday than he was Sunday, but won't play tonight. He could be available for Thursday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

"It hurts more than I expected, but I have to tough it out through the rest of the season," said Webber, who has twice dislocated the shoulder. "It could have been worse. I'm glad it came out partially, rather than all the way.

"Definitely with the soreness, I can't play," Webber added. "Hopefully it won't be there much longer."

Bullets tonight Opponent: Cleveland Cavaliers

Site: USAir Arena, Landover

Time: 7:30

TV/Radio: HTS/WTEM (570 AM), WWLG (1360 AM)

Outlook: The Cavaliers (15-12) are tied for second in the Central Division and have won three straight, and eight of their past 10. G Terrell Brandon (19.0 ppg) is having an All-Star-type year for the Cavaliers, who are last in the league in points scored (93.0 ppg), and first in the league in fewest points allowed (92.3). The Bullets also have won three straight, and seven of their past 10. F Chris Webber (strained left shoulder) and G Calbert Cheaney (sore right leg) will not play tonight. The Bullets lost their first meeting to the Cavaliers this season, 97-85, on Nov. 31.

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