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CLIPPER REPORT

Rice Says He's Almost Ready

November 12, 2003|Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writer

Glen Rice, yet to make his Clipper debut because of a hyperextended right knee, said he was "on schedule" to be activated for Saturday's game against the Orlando Magic, the first for which he will be eligible to come off the injured list.

Though limited to "controlled activity," the former Laker returned to practice Monday and said his knee responded well.

"I've got a couple more days to get some practice in, but everything is on schedule," he said Tuesday. "I think I'll be ready, knock on wood. Hopefully, nothing goes wrong in the next couple of days."

Coach Mike Dunleavy, however, was less optimistic.

"I don't know yet," he said of Rice's availability for Saturday. "I kind of doubt it, because, until he can go full out, up and down and conditioning and all that, it would be hard to do. It would kind of be rushing him. Basically, we'll talk and we'll see when he thinks he's ready, based on what he can do."

Rice said his knee "felt great" after Monday's practice.

"I feel silly saying it," he said, "but it felt like a regular leg. There was no pain, no swelling. I tried to do as much cutting as possible and it came out great."

Rice, signed as a free agent last month after losing more than 25 pounds over the summer, suffered the injury in an exhibition Oct. 17.

"It was disappointing," he said, "but I think you've just got to be able to roll with the punches."

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Two weeks after he injured it in Japan, Elton Brand had his broken right foot X-rayed, said he'd been told it was healing properly and told a group of reporters that he hoped to be playing before the end of the month.

Dunleavy said the Clippers will not rush Brand.

"The reality of it is, we should do nothing to bring him back before it's time," the coach said. "We should be really sure that he's ready to come back and do what he's supposed to do. I would be more conservative than anything else with him."

Brand originally was supposed to be sidelined four to six weeks.

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