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Full speed ahead

Jordan's presence energizes Wizards' workouts

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Posted: Saturday July 14, 2001 3:51 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second consecutive day, Michael Jordan practiced with his Washington Wizards on Saturday.

"Yeah, he worked out with us again today," guard Laron Profit said. "I don't know if he's coming back or not; that's something Michael's going to have to tell us when he's ready.

"Some days I feel like he is coming back. Some days I feel like he isn't. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out because the funny thing is that he's the only one who knows. To me, he's just another player right now."

Wizards' head coach Doug Collins said Jordan is taking things one step at a time.

"Michael is picking up the level of what he wants to do," Collins said on the second day of the Wizards' three-day mini camp. "He's taking it a step at a time from the standpoint of conditioning, and now he's trying to get his legs back. He understands you don't take off three years and just run out there and start playing at the level he wants to play."

Collins said Jordan turned his ankle a few days ago in Chicago, but he can't keep him off the court.

"He's still out there," Collins said. "Michael will not get on a bike or on a treadmill. If he's going to work on his legs, he's going to do it on the court."

Jordan's mere presence has livened the Wizards' workouts.

"It's been a real energizer for the guys," Collins said. "It's amazing to me that the guy could take four to five weeks off, have two broken ribs, do nothing but work through the draft -- and the next time I see him, 10 days later, he's out here running around.

"Where did this come from? He's an amazing guy. He's taken three years off, at one point he was up to 240 pounds, and now there's not an ounce of fat on him. He's an incredible guy."

Collins won't speak for Jordan, but you can read between his lines.

"You know as well as I do, for him to be out here and trying to do these kind of things, you know where his heart is," Collins said. "The big question is going to be: Can he get where he wants to get? That's what it comes down to."

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