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Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wizards' Butler (hip), Cavs' Wallace (back) return to lineup

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- All-Star forward Caron Butler returned to the Washington Wizards' starting lineup Thursday night after missing the previous 16 games with a hip injury.

"We're happy, excited," coach Eddie Jordan said before tipoff against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "He's had two good practices, and we'll see how it goes."

Ben Wallace


Caron Butler


Butler, who turned 28 Thursday, was originally diagnosed with a strained hip flexor, but an MRI discovered a small labral tear of the left hip joint. The injury also caused Butler to miss the All-Star game.

Antawn Jamison (back strain) and Antonio Daniels (sprained left thumb) both started after missing practice Wednesday. Both were hurt Tuesday night in a win over Milwaukee.

For the Cavaliers, Ben Wallace returned after missing Wednesday night's loss to New Jersey because of back spasms. LeBron James, who had a knee-on-knee collision with Vince Carter in Wednesday's game, also was in the lineup.

"They've been better," James said. "But I'm playing."