Price misses Bullets practices with nagging injury to heel Point guard had same problem with Cavaliers


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. -- He has been an All-Star four times in the NBA, so there never has been a question about Mark Price's credentials.

There has been some question about his health, however, an issue which came to light yesterday during the second day of the Washington Bullets' camp.

While the Bullets practiced, newly acquired Price was on the sideline after a flare-up of the left heel plantar fascia injury that forced him to miss three games with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Price missed both sessions yesterday, and it was unclear whether he will practice today.

"It's frustrating," Price said after last night's practice. "Coming to a new team and a new situation, you want to get a feel for the new guys you're going to play with.

"But there's no need of pushing it at this point. I had some problems with it last year, and it's not something that you can predict."

While Price missed a total of 34 games due to injury last season pTC (surgery on his right wrist forced him to miss 27), the heel injury is not one the Bullets appear overly worried about.

"When he had his physical, the doctors predicted this would be something to expect," general manager John Nash said. "The lockout had prevented players from getting medical treatment from their doctors. Right now, rest is really the best treatment."

Price has taken cortisone shots for the injury twice this year -- once in the spring and another time a month ago. The team will wait and see whether to go that route again.

"That remains an option," Nash said. "If he's unable to go on Monday, maybe we'll send him to see the doctors."

In the meantime the Bullets will be careful with Price when he gets back, perhaps limiting him to one practice a day. Price participated in both practice sessions on Friday.

There are varying degrees of seriousness of the plantar fasciatis injury. The Bullets' Calbert Cheaney missed 16 games of the 1993-94 season after suffering a partially torn plantar fascia in the left foot. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Micheal Williams missed an entire season with the injury.

NOTES: Gheorghe Muresan, who played for the Pau Orthez team in France during the NBA lockout, participated in his first practice yesterday. Muresan played his last game for the French team on Thursday, pulling down 22 rebounds. . . . Don MacLean once again sat out practice, as he continues to await an offer sheet from Boston. If the Celtics can't make room to sign MacLean by today, he may sign the $925,000 qualifying offer given to him by the Bullets. . . . While his agents say both sides are "extremely close" in the Chris Webber contract negotiations, the forward missed the second day of camp.

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