Devean George has finally been cleared to begin practicing, starting slowly with 5-on-0 drills, meaning no contact. George's left hand has been giving him fits since the middle of the preseason. It's something of a freak injury, inflamed ligaments and joints on top of his left hand and also at the top of the palm between the middle and index fingers.
George still couldn't nail down a timetable for his eventual appearance in uniform. Tonight would have been a good time with his former teammate Kobe Bryant in town and Josh Howard likely sitting it out with a banged-up left wrist.
Asked if he thought about urging George to play, coach Rick Carlisle mulled it over and said, "I thought about." As much as he'd like to have George in the rotation, looks like it will still be a few games, at least.
-- Jeff Caplan