Hornet's Report - OkaforOAKLAND, Calif. – Less than a week before the start of the season, the New Orleans Hornets still don’t know what to make of new center Emeka Okafor(notes). He has yet to play or even practice with them, and his prolonged absence has some team members privately shaking their heads.
Okafor has missed all seven of the Hornets’ preseason games because of a strained toe on his right foot. He isn’t expected to play in Friday’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Clippers and his status for Wednesday’s season opener against the San Antonio Spurs remains in doubt.
An NBA source told Yahoo! Sports that Okafor was cleared to play by the Hornets’ medical staff two weeks ago and by his own doctor a week later. Most of Okafor’s teammates know he has been cleared and are eager to see whether he works out with them for the first time over the weekend.
“He better practice Sunday or he could lose some guys,” one Hornet said.
Prior to the Hornets’ shootaround on Thursday morning, Okafor acknowledged he has been medically cleared to play “based on how I feel.” He said he hopes to practice on Sunday.
“He might have been cleared medically, but from a mental standpoint he is not cleared,” New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. “In his mind, he says he’s not ready. When you have a guy that says he is not ready, the worst thing you can do is force him to get out there.”
Contrast that with:
Chandler's recovery ahead of schedule