WASHINGTON (AP) -Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas hopes to return from open heart surgery this season.
Thomas said in a radio interview Friday that he should be able to practice with his teammates soon, the next step in getting back on the court after having a 4 1/2-hour operation in October to replace a leaking aortic valve.
``I definitely plan on returning this year,'' Thomas said on ``The John Thompson Show'' on WTEM.
``My recovery is going well,'' Thomas said. ``I'm able to do more and more. I'm looking forward to getting cleared to be able to practice here soon.''
The 29-year-old Thomas has played six seasons for the Wizards and is the team's longest-tenured player. He started a career-high 32 games last season, averaging 6.1 points and 5.8 rebounds.
Thomas was diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve after a routine physical before the start of training camp.
He recently worked out at a sports academy in Florida for more than a week while doctors monitored his heart rate.
``Everything is fine with my heart. My body has reacted great to the surgery,'' Thomas said. ``Now they're just waiting to do a few more tests just to make sure I can take contact to the sternum. But I feel fine. I feel great.''

Top NBA Public Bets

#1 711 Denver Nuggets  80%
#3 710 Phoenix Suns  66%
#4 702 Miami Heat  61%
#5 707 Detroit Pistons  51%

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Kings vs. Trail Blazers Pick Are the host Portland Trail Blazers going to dominate the Sacramento Kings on the second night of a home-and-home series? Tip-off is...
Thumbnail Bucks vs. Mavericks Pick Are the Milwaukee Bucks and host Dallas Mavericks going to play a game that...
Thumbnail Rockets vs. Grizzlies Pick Will the host Memphis Grizzlies wrap up the season series with the Houston Rockets with a win tonight when the two...
Thumbnail Celtics vs. Hawks Pick Are the Boston Celtics going to secure a 15th straight win and cover the spread tonight at the Atlanta Hawks? Game...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. 76ers Pick Are the Golden State Warriors going to cover the spread for the second time in as many weeks tonight versus the host Philadelphia 76ers? Tip-off is...

NBA Team Pages