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Brown Expected Back Friday Amid Mixed Signals

From Associated Press

Larry Brown will return to coach the Detroit Pistons this week after missing 10 games, a team source told Associated Press on Wednesday.

Brown, 64, will rejoin the team at practice today, according to the source, and will be on the bench at home Friday night against the Clippers.

He did not coach the Pistons on Wednesday night at home against Sacramento, missing his 10th consecutive game since undergoing a procedure related to hip surgery, which caused him to miss six games in November.

Brown did not return a message seeking comment.

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Brown’s future with the defending NBA champions became uncertain when he openly questioned whether he’d be able to return this season.

“I am not going to let them go very much longer” without an answer, Brown told reporters Tuesday. “I want to get things settled. My whole thing is, I don’t know if I can coach and not be healthy. I don’t want to think about that. I want to see if I can get better.”

He had told his players and team President Joe Dumars he planned to spend the rest of this week recovering.

Brown has been attending some practices and film sessions. He was active in Tuesday’s light practice, talking to the players and observing their scrimmaging.

Brown opened his second season with Detroit by coaching the Pistons to a victory over the Houston Rockets, then missed six games after having surgery on his left hip Nov. 3.

“I came back too soon with the hip surgery, and I have been dealing with some things for 4 1/2 months that have been difficult for me,” he said Tuesday.

The Pistons are 9-7 under his replacement, assistant Gar Heard.

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Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer will sit out the rest of the season while he recovers from a foot injury he sustained in February.

He has been ordered by his doctor to wear a boot over his right foot for at least three more weeks. Trainer Gary Briggs said that Boozer’s condition has improved and surgery has been ruled out for now.

Boozer, averaging a team-high 17.8 points and 9.0 rebounds, sprained his foot at Phoenix on Feb. 14. He spent his first two seasons with Cleveland and signed a $68-million deal with the Jazz last summer.


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