Joel Przybilla returns to Blazers

Updated: December 4, 2010, 5:23 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Przybilla played Friday night against the Washington Wizards, his first game since rupturing his right patella in a game nearly a year ago.

Przybilla entered with 37.9 seconds left in the first quarter -- and was greeted by loud cheers from a handful of fans.

After getting hurt Dec. 22, 2009, Przybilla re-injured the same tendon in March. His knee had healed by late November, but he then missed four games with the stomach flu.

"I feel confident in my knee," the 7-foot-1 Przybilla said before tipoff Friday. "I just want to get out there. I think I will do all right."

Blazers coach Nate McMillan said Przybilla probably wouldn't play more than 15 minutes against Washington.

"It's going to be good to have him back," McMillan said. "This is going to be about getting his feet wet out there. I'm sure he's going to be a little nervous and a little cautious about what he's doing."

Przybilla averaged 4.1 points and 7.9 rebounds in 30 games last season.

Wizards swingman Nick Young was inactive because of a bruised left thigh. But reserve center Yi Jianlian played after missing nine games with a right knee injury, while another backup, Hilton Armstrong, returned after serving a one-game suspension for shoving the Miami Heat's Joel Anthony in a game Monday.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press