WASHINGTON (AP) -All-Star forward Caron Butler returned to the Washington Wizards' starting lineup Thursday night after missing the previous 16 games with a hip injury.
``We're happy, excited,'' coach Eddie Jordan said before tipoff against the Cleveland Cavaliers. ``He's had two good practices, and we'll see how it goes.''
Butler, who turned 28 Thursday, was originally diagnosed with a strained hip flexor, but an MRI discovered a small labral tear of the left hip joint. The injury also caused Butler to miss the All-Star game.
Antawn Jamison (back strain) and Antonio Daniels (sprained left thumb) both started after missing practice Wednesday. Both were hurt Tuesday night in a win over Milwaukee.
For the Cavaliers, Ben Wallace returned after missing Wednesday night's loss to New Jersey because of back spasms. LeBron James, who had a knee-on-knee collision with Vince Carter in Wednesday's game, also was in the lineup.
``They've been better,'' James said. ``But I'm playing.''
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