WASHINGTON (AP) -Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan ruled out having injured Caron Butler back for the first-round playoff series against Cleveland.
The All-Star forward was to have the cast removed from his broken right hand on Monday.
``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 April 1; his recovery was supposed to take six weeks. Two games later, All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas tore his left knee, then 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 are assuming he won'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.''
Advertisement

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Lottery pick to begin pro career as reserve The Lakers stumbled to a 17-65 finish in 2015-16. Yet that doesn’t mean they’re willing to just hand over the keys to the No. 2 overall pick in June’s NBA draft.
Thumbnail Anthony, new faces hope to make run in East Carmelo Anthony announced his retirement from international competition in August after helping the U.S. men’s Olympic squad win gold. But will he ever...
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages