NBA.com editors Darren Misener, Martin Sumners and Jim Reilly will be keeping you updated on all the best news and content from around the 30 team sites in the Conference Call Blog. East, Week 1 | West, Week 1 | East, Week 2 | West, Week 2 | East, Week 3 | West, Week 3 | East, Week 4 | West, Week 4 | East, Week 5 | West, Week 5 | East, Week 6 | West, Week 6 | East, Week 7 | West, Week 7 | East, Week 8 | West, Week 8 | East, Week 9 | West, Week 9 | East, Week 10 | West, Week 10

Darren Misener

What's Etan You?
On Saturday a familiar face walked into a practice facility in our nation's Capital, a face not seen since an early season injury. No, it wasn't Gilbert Arenas, if your looking for an update on his condition check out the best blog we have on NBA.com (yes, even my girlfriend reads Gilbert's before mine).

Washington's Etan Thomas surprised his teammates at practice on Saturday, the first time he's seen them since a serious heart condition put him out of commission after training camp. Just after breaking camp, the Wizards center received news that he was going to have to undergo heart surgery to repair a leak in his aortic valve. What must have been shocking news to many in the organization and to fans around The District, came as somewhat of a known condition to Thomas himself.

"I have known that I had a heart murmur since I was young," said Thomas. "I found out when I was in middle school. I always knew that eventually I'd need to have something done about it. I just thought it was going to be when I was 50 or 60."

As Wizards.com reports, Thomas made the decision to fix the problem ASAP, and, after going through a successful surgery, Thomas endured a waiting process of eight weeks before he was able to begin a recovery program. At first Thomas was unable to even pickup his two and a half-year-old son Malcolm or walk for 10 minutes before needing to lie back down and go to sleep. However, Thomas built up his strength day by day in an effort to get back on the court and be with his teammates.

"Having him around lifts the spirits of the guys," said Roger Mason Jr. "We missed him, just his presence around the locker room to see him helped make practice a little more energized and guys were really excited to see him."

The Wizards' big man isn't healed to the point where he can participate in full-contact drills yet, but every step of the way counts. Eventually Thomas is hoping to get the clearance to return to roaming the paint for the Wizards this season. For now, he's happy just watching the team excel without him.

"They've been playing great," said Thomas. "It is really exciting to see. Everybody has been sharing the ball, the young guys have been stepping up and the bench has been really productive."

And there's nothing all those guys want more than to see their injured center fully healthy again.


Raps Regaining Rep
Raptors.com's Mike Ulmer reports that Toronto is rounding back into form of late, thanks to Anthony Parker and Chris Bosh.

Road Warriors
The Sixers insider is back and reporting after a long road trip. And, as he learned, despite a long trip Philly's got plenty of fight left in them.

Asked and Answered
Last week we told you to leave your questions for Knicks guard Jamal Crawford. Now Jamal takes the time to give you some answers.

Magic's Men
Orlando's Carlos Arroyo and Keyon Dooling both check into their blogs this week, talking about their All-Star week plans and expectations for the second half.

Chat it Up
New Jersey's Nenad Krstic stopped by NBA.com this week to chat live with fans. Check out the transcript, courtesy of Nets.com

My Mentor
With Andrew Bogut averaging 19.5 points and 10.3 rebounds over his last six games, his mentor is sleeping more easily reports Bucks.com.

Painful Outlook
In Indiana the terms "prolonged" and "absence" aren't music to the ears of fans hoping for a speedy return of veteran forward Jermaine O'Neal

Think About It... But Not That Much
Pistons.com reports that rookie Rodney Stuckey is thinking too much on the court, which is cramping his normally impressive improvisational play.


Honoring Dr. King
Bulls players Chris Duhon and Joakim Noah spent Thursday afternoon with students from Martin Luther King College Prep High School, to help celebrate Dr. King.

Hot Blogging
The Hawks' second annual Blog Night took place last week at Philips Arena, and the players were nice enough to oblige best sports bloggers from the Atlanta area by putting on quite a show. .