Apr 09

Practice Report: Matthews Out, Barton In

By caseyholdahl Posted in: Blazers, Lakers, NicolasBatum, WesleyMatthews, willbarton

The Portland Trail Blazers returned to practice on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday night's game against the Lakers at the Rose Garden. Or at least some Trail Blazers did …

• Wesley Matthews (right ankle) attended practice but did not participate. He is still in a walking boot and will not play Wednesday night against the Lakers. Head coach Terry Stotts said that rookie Will Barton, who had by far his best game of the season (22 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) Sunday night against the Dallas Mavericks, will likely start in Matthews' place.

Matthews has had an MRI on his ankle, which came back negative, and according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian, Matthews will undergo a few more MRIs to make sure there's no damage that has gone undetected. He says he does not know if he'll play again this season or if he'll accompany the team on their final road trip of the season, but that he was hopeful he'd be able to do both.

• JJ Hickson has a sore back and did not practice Tuesday and is currently listed as questionable to play Wednesday night against the Lakers. Hickson was at practice, though he did not participate. No official word on who would start in Hickson's place if he's not able to go, but one would assume Meyers Leonard is the favorite.

• Nicolas Batum, who missed Sunday night's loss to the Mavericks with a sore right shoulder (he has a superior labral tear), also attended practice but did not participate. He went through an extended shooting session (he says he hasn't shot for eight days) to test his shoulder, after which he said his shoulder "burned." Stotts said Batum was doubtful for Wednesday's game, though Batum said he's a game-time decision.


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