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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Fountain of Youth: Brandan Wright feels refreshed

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- Brandan Wright made a quiet, but welcomed return to the court Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards.

The 6-foot-10 leaper played just a tick under five minutes, all in the second quarter, recording a rebound and blocked shot. It wasn't much, but it was the first step back after Wright sustained the first concussion of his basketball-playing career March 2 during a game at New Orleans. He got popped in the mouth relatively early in the game, came out because he was bloodied, but later returned.

He said he felt worse and worse as the game progressed and afterward was administered a concussion test.

Unable to be cleared to play until all symptoms were nonexistent, Wright missed the next six games, an unfortunate setback for the 24-year-old who was averaging 18.4 minutes in the previous seven games and 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds with 12 blocked shots.

"He's had a terrific year," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He gives us activity, he's active around the basket, he can block shots, he can run. He just gives us one of three different looks we have at the center position."

At Monday's practice, Wright said he was feeling fine and ready to play. He called the experience of the recuperation a strange process because it was unlike recovering from a physical injury like a sprain or a bruised body part. Wright is no stranger to injuries. His young career has had one setback after another. The former lottery pick missed the entire 2009-10 season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Wright's absence did allow Sean Williams to get some playing time with the big club, and the former Mansfield High School star played well. However, Wright's return sent Williams back down to the D-League Texas Legends.