Moultrie on the mend, doubtful for Wednesday

Posted: January 15, 2014

On a 76ers team that is desperate for size, not to mention additional depth, the return of Arnett Moultrie surely will be welcome.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward-center hasn't played since September surgery on his left ankle. But he is back practicing with the team and hopes to return soon.

Moultrie was acquired by the Sixers on draft day 2012 after he was taken with the 27th selection of the first round by the Miami Heat.

On Monday, he went through a full practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and proclaimed himself healthy.

"My ankle is fully healed," said Moultrie, who played at Mississippi State. "I did the hop test today, which I passed."

He also said his conditioning felt good.

"Now it's a matter of me getting down the offensive and defensive schemes and all the different calls," he said.

Moultrie averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 47 games last season as a seldom-used rookie for the Sixers. More will be expected upon his return.

"I thought he looked good today," Sixers coch Brett Brown said. "He is still a fair ways away."

That would mean he isn't likely to play in Wednesday's game at the Wells Fargo Center against Charlotte, but Moultrie said he would be ready if called.

Brown, meanwhile, says he has no timetable for Moultrie.

For Moultrie, getting back on the court can't come soon enough.

"It's been extremely tough; I have been frustrated a lot," he said. "Now I am fully healed and fully cleared to go, so my main focus is getting back."

Brown said he will test Moultrie immediately when he returns.

"It's ready, aim, fire," the coach said. "Just get in there and go and we will figure it out as we go along."

The news wasn't as encouraging for power forward-center Lavoy Allen, who has missed the last two games because of a right calf strain.

"He is not ready to return," Brown said. "I don't know when he will be able to."

Allen was averaging just 5.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.5 minutes, but Brown said his presence is sorely missed.

"He is really important; he has a low center of gravity, he can move his feet, he can make an 18-foot shot," Brown said. "When you don't have him, you realize how thin we are and how small we are and not as physical."

The Sixers (12-25) surely need some serviceable size. They are being outrebounded, 47.1 to 44.84, and opponents are blocking 6.92 shots per game compared to the Sixers' 4.41.

Whether Moultrie can help in this matter remains to be seen, but it appears the Sixers won't wait a lot longer to find out whether he can be a solid contributor.

Sixers add center

The Sixers will sign center Dewayne Dedmon to a 10-day contract on Tuesday morning, a league source said.

The 7-footer averaged 15.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocked shots with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State's NBA Development League affiliate.

The Sixers have a spot available after waiving reserve center Daniel Orton last week.


Staff writer Keith Pompey contributed to this article.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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