Boone returns after rapid heartbeat, no word if he'll start in season opener

Updated: October 27, 2008, 7:41 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New Jersey Nets center Josh Boone returned to practice on Monday after missing more than a week because of a rapid heartbeat.

Boone met with coach Lawrence Frank after the workout and said he will be ready for Wednesday's regular-season opener at Washington.

"I don't know if I'm starting or not, so I guess we'll see on Wednesday. I really don't know," said Boone, who said his stamina was good despite the layoff.

Frank would not say whether Boone or rookie Brook Lopez would start, but the coach indicated Boone's experience was a positive. Boone started 53 games last season, averaging 8.2 points and 7.3 rebounds.

"I think what plays a part in it is, looking at Josh, because he's been here, he is probably a little bit more comfortable communicating in terms of calling the defensive commands," Frank said.

Frank added that he might start one way and change later in the game.

"I think with Josh, he has the best opportunity early because his ability and knowledge," Frank said.

Lopez worked with the first team on Monday when practice was open to the media and said Boone looked good in practice.

"Like I said, it's not up to me any more," Lopez said. "Whether or not I start, regardless, I'll come in with the same energy and play hard and play defense."

Forward Eduardo Najera had his injured wrist examined by a doctor. He has not practiced in weeks and is doubtful for the opener.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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