Nov. 3, 2006
SEATTLE (AP) -- The shock wave Spencer Hawes recently sent through the Washington program is now but a ripple.
The super-hyped, 7-foot freshman center is back at practice following arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose particle from his right knee.
The state high school player of the year and McDonald's All-America last season from Seattle Prep worked on his shooting Monday at the Huskies' practice. On Tuesday, the jewel of coach Lorenzo Romar's touted recruiting class did his first running since the Oct. 11 surgery.
There had been concern that Hawes would not be ready to make his much-anticipated debut in the Nov. 12 season opener against Pepperdine. But on Tuesday, Romar said, "I wouldn't say he's a couple of weeks, more like a few days away," from full workouts.
Hawes showed off two, pinpoint scars bracketing his right knee cap that were slightly swollen -- but said doctors told him that was normal and expected.
"From here, it goes a lot faster than it has," he said of his recovery, originally estimated to take as long as four weeks.
Hawes doubted he would play in Friday's home exhibition against Saint Martin's.
Romar said he hasn't settled on a starting lineup because his players' availability has been in flux all preseason. The Huskies have practiced with as few as eight players.
Joel Smith and redshirt freshman Joe Wolfinger have been out with stress fractures, with Wolfinger likely out for the entire season. Brandon Burmeister, one of only two seniors, has a foot injury. And Hans Gasser is just coming back from a shoulder separation suffered during the summer.
Romar said that Smith, a junior, would be fully ready in "a week or two."
Romar normally gives the starting jobs for the preseason exhibition to the top five rebounders during preseason practices. But with such juggling and personnel shortages, he doesn't know who will start Friday.
The only two starters set for this season are sophomores Justin Dentmon, the returning point guard, and Jon Brockman. Players have voted Brockman to be their team captain. The rugged, powerful forward is also on the 50-player "watch" list for national player of the year this season.