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Hornets' Paul returns to practice, not yet cleared to play

Posted Mar 10 2011 5:44PM

WESTWEGO, La. (AP) -- Chris Paul returned to practice on Thursday and even tossed up some extra free throws, 3-pointers and trick shots from behind the backboard afterward.

Whether Paul has recovered enough from his mild concussion to play against Sacramento on Saturday night could be determined as early as Friday when Hornets coach Monty Williams said the Hornets' All-Star guard is scheduled for a neurological test.

"We didn't do anything physical today" in practice, Williams said. "Today was a short day where we just walked through some things, got a ton of shots up and (Paul) participated in everything."

That marked the first time Paul has practiced in any form since he was diagnosed with a mild concussion on Sunday night following his hard collision with Cleveland's Ramon Sessions.

Paul did not speak with reporters after practice, but teammates said they were pleased to see him getting close to his return.

"It was good to see him out here getting some shots up," said guard Jarrett Jack. "We knew it was a matter of time. We all knew how tough he is, the injuries he's battled through over the course of his career. We knew this wasn't going to keep him out too long. He was actually trying to play yesterday but they wouldn't let him out there just for precautionary reasons."

Paul is averaging 15.9 points and 9.6 assists for the Hornets, who entered Thursday's action holding the seventh out of eight playoff seeds in the Western Conference, and only 2 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Phoenix.

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