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Hawes To Start Wednesday Night In Indy - 3/13/2012

By MAX RAPPAPORT - Spencer Hawes has not suited up for the Sixers since February 6. On the year, the 7' 1" center has missed a total of 28 games, 11 earlier in the season with both a back injury and a strained left achilles and, more recently, 17 straight games due only to the achilles injury.

Tuesday, the 76ers updated the status of the 23-year-old.

Hawes participated in the team's full practice Tuesday and will play limited minutes Wednesday night in Indiana.

"I felt good," said Hawes. "I've been waiting for a while to get back out there with my teammates so this is huge for me.

"I'm feeling a lot better than the last time I (returned from injury this season)."

Coach Collins is excited to have his starting center back in the lineup.

"It looks like he picked up right where he left off," said Collins. "He's ball-friendly and for a big guy, he can really help space the floor for us.

"I want to get him right back in the mix."

Collins indicated that Hawes would start, but be limited to five minutes per quarter and would likely be barred from playing in back-to-back games for at least ten days. If that is the case, the returning Sixer would have to miss either the team's home game against the Heat Friday or the team's road match against the Bulls Saturday.

The Sixers are 12-2 with Hawes in their starting lineup this season and are hoping that trend continues with him back on the floor.