For more than two months, Alan Anderson, who has been out a total of eight after two surgeries on his left ankle, has been working out vigorously on his own. With the Wizards going into the final 31 games following a weeklong break, he's on the verge of possibly playing in Thursday's home game vs. the Utah Jazz (CSN+, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 7).
"Once I'm back, I'm back," said Anderson, who practiced for the first time Wednesday after he missed all of training camp before getting a second surgery to remove bone fragments in October. "I'm getting there now. When I start playing, I'm back."
Anderson had been targeting his comeback for after the All-Star break. He did everything but some drills after practice at Verizon Center, opting to do more cardio instead.
The process has taken far longer than expected. Anderson had his first surgery after his former team, the Brooklyn Nets, ended the postseason. It's not clear if Anderson needed the second surgery because he tried to come back to soon and caused another issue with his ankle, but it started to flare up as training camp grew closer.
"It's just going to be a little discomfort. I haven't played in eight months," he said. "Try to get back in game shape, rhythm, it's going to take a little time. As far as my body, it feels good."
Anderson, 33, is expected to shoot around with the Wizards, provided there aren't any setbacks, Thursday morning. When he steps back on the court, it'll be the culmination of a lot of what he has been waiting for since he was signed to a one-year deal as a free agent.
"I've never been through this," he said when asked of how he coped. "Just kept thinking to myself it always can be worse. I know where I came from, how hard I worked, where I've been. I've been all the way around the world. It's a privilege to be here.
"I thought I was going to be back a lot sooner than this but you can't rush an injury. I never thought in my mind I was going to sit out (the entire season)."
The Wizards (23-28) have three consecutive games. Thursday's is a makeup game that was postponed after a snowstorm last month.
"I'm hoping so," Anderson said of playing vs. Utah. "We'll see how I feel tomorrow, but I'm hoping so."