Of all the injured Wizards, Trevor Ariza remains the best bet for a near return. Just not yet.
Though Ariza, out since Dec. 4 with a left calf strain, has resumed practicing with the team and said on Thursday he hoped to play on Friday. Turns out the small forward needs more time.
"No setback, just not quite ready," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said during his pregame talk with reporters. "Still some tightness after his workout yesterday and the shoot-around this morning, but he participated as did all the other guys like they did yesterday."
In 15 games including 13 starts, Ariza averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. Including Friday's tilt he will have missed the last 16 games.
John Wall (knee), A.J. Price (broken hand) and Trevor Booker (knee) participated in practice over the last two days to varying degrees, but no established timeline exists for their respective returns.
Following Friday's game Washington plays at Miami on Sunday. Asked if Ariza could return for the Heat, Wittman said, " It's just got be right."
*In the first of four games against the Nets this season, the Wizards will start Nene, Martell Webster and Emeka Okafor in the frontcourt with Bradley Beal and Garrett Temple at the guard spots.
*As per normal, Andray Blatche will come off the bench for the Nets. Brooklyn forward Kris Humphries(sprained left ankle) is inactive as is guard C.J. Watson (sprained right knee)