WASHINGTON (AP) -Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler had the cast removed from his broken right hand Monday and was told to avoid contact for a week to 10 days.
Even before Butler's cast was replaced by a splint, Wizards coach Eddie Jordan ruled out having the All-Star back for the team's first-round playoff series against Cleveland.
``He is not in our plans, right now - not as a player,'' Jordan said after practice Monday. ``If we get deeper in the playoffs, possibly, but not in the first round.''
Asked whether there's any chance Butler could face the Cavaliers, Jordan said: ``To me? No. Not to me.''
Butler was injured when he hit his hand on the backboard while trying to block a shot during a game on April 1; his recovery was supposed to take six weeks. Two games later, All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas injured his left knee and had season-ending surgery.
Butler was averaging career highs in points (19.1), rebounds (7.4) and assists (3.7), and the Wizards would love to have him in the lineup against the Cavaliers, who lead the best-of-seven series 1-0 heading into Wednesday's Game 2 at Cleveland.
But Butler's teammates also were assuming he wouldn't be able to face LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers.
``My mind-frame is, if there's a chance for Caron to come back, it's pretty much going to be in the second round,'' Antawn Jamison said. ``My job and the rest of my teammates' job is to figure out a way to get to the second round, and then we can get some help.
``He's been out for a while, and to put that pressure on him as far as coming back in this series is a lot. You want to make sure that it's healed, and you don't want to rush him back too quickly.''
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