Sixers' Carter-Williams expects to return Friday

The Sixers' Michael Carter-Williams missed the last seven games with a skin infection and soreness in the front of his right knee. "I am ready to go," he says.
The Sixers' Michael Carter-Williams missed the last seven games with a skin infection and soreness in the front of his right knee. "I am ready to go," he says. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 21, 2013

A second straight strong practice has 76ers rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams feeling ready to return to the lineup for Friday's game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Brooklyn Nets.

Carter-Williams missed the last seven games with a skin infection and soreness in the front of his right knee.

While he is listed as a game-time decision, coach Brett Brown and Carter-Williams indicated that, barring any setback, he would play Friday.

"Nobody is making a 100 percent commitment that he is playing. We think he is, he has practiced well," Brown said after Thursday's workout. "We assume he will be in the lineup."

Carter-Williams was also making that assumption.

"I hope so," Carter-Williams said when asked if he expected to play. "I had two good practices and I felt good and I was shooting after, and I am ready to go."

His return couldn't come soon enough from a Sixers perspective. They lost the last seven games that he has been sidelined.

In addition, Carter-Williams also missed four earlier games with a left arch bruise. The Sixers (7-19) are 1-10 without Carter-Williams and 6-9 with him.

In what he considers another positive development, Carter-Williams said the soreness in his knee had greatly subsided.

"Out of [a scale of] 1 to 10, it's about a one or a two," Carter-Williams said. "There is a little bit [of soreness] there. Basically I will keep icing it and keep getting treatment."

Brown said that Carter-Williams had strides to make upon his return.

"I see he looks winded, he looks a little rusty, and I see he is somebody who hasn't played in two weeks," Brown said.

The first time he returned from injury, Carter-Williams struggled during his initial game back. In 33 minutes of a 109-98 home loss to Toronto, Carter-Williams scored 10 points, shooting 2 for 10 from the field, while adding six assists and six turnovers.

"This is my second time and I am looking to adjust to it and hopefully I am not as rusty as the first time coming back," Carter-Williams said.

Carter-Williams is averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 assists, leading all rookies in both categories. He also entered Thursday leading the NBA in steals, averaging 3.13 per game. In addition, he leads all rookies in jersey sales and is 15th overall, a testament to his popularity.

All that matters for Carter-Williams is returning to the court.

"I am really excited to be back and I know the guys are excited and we're trying to end this losing streak and get on a winning streak," Carter-Williams said.

Notes. Yahoo Sports reported that the Houston Rockets had suspended trade talks concerning disgruntled center Omer Asik. The Sixers were reportedly among the teams that Houston had been talking about a trade for Asik. . . . The Sixers and Thaddeus Young's agent did not comment about a report that the forward had requested a trade. . . . The Sixers' three-point defense will be seriously tested by Brooklyn. During Monday's 130-94 loss to the host Nets, the Sixers allowed Brooklyn to shoot 21 of 35 from beyond the arc. Entering Thursday the Sixers were allowing an NBA-high 10.5 threes per game. Brown said the Sixers won't be changing their defensive strategy. "We need to play with more energy and do what we do better," Brown said.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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