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All-Star break a challenge for Mahinmi as he searches for rhythm

All-Star break a challenge for Mahinmi as he searches for rhythm

Most players need the NBA All-Star break to rest after grinding through four-plus months of the regular season. For Ian Mahinmi, the time off isn't exactly necessary. He's missed 50 of the Wizards' 54 games thus far this season due to injury and could use the reps.

"I think I had enough rest in the first part of the season," Mahinmi joked after practice on Wednesday.

The Wizards have one more game before the All-Star break, on Thursday against the Indiana Pacers. That offers Mahinmi just one more chance to play with his teammates as he continues to search for rhythm and chemistry, before taking another week off.

Because of that, Mahinmi does not plan to take much time off during the break like his teammates. He will instead work out at the Verizon Center with assistant coaches and trainers.

In the final game before the All-Star break, Mahinmi expects to still play around 12-16 minutes. He has logged 12, 13 and 15 minutes, respectively, in his three games back since undergoing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment on both knees in December. 

"The minutes restriction is a little tough as far as for me finding the rhythm, but it's been very good. My body is responding very well to the first few games. We're building on it," he said.

[RELATED: Ian Mahinmi's return to form will lighten Marcin Gortat's workload]

Mahinmi, 30, joined the Wizards in free agency with a four-year, $64 million deal last July. But his tenure has so far been hampered significantly by injuries, beginning with a torn left meniscus that required surgery on Oct. 15. Mahinmi returned for one game against the San Antonio Spurs, on Nov. 26 before going back down with right knee tendinitis. He was then prescribed the PRP treatment by Dr. James Andrews.

It has been a rocky start to Mahinmi's Wizards career and he still has a lot of catching up to do. It's one thing to study head coach Scott Brooks' system, it's another to actually play within it on the court.

"At this point it's kind of tough because guys get into a rhythm. Guys are used to playing with each other. For me, at this point it's really trying to fit in without changing much of what the guys are doing. We've been playing well," he said.

Mahinmi hopes to increase his minutes soon after the All-Star break, so he can get up to speed quickly.

"I want to just be one of those glue guys, come in and let the time take care of business for me. We will get to know each other on the court and we will eventually get very familiar with one another," Mahinmi said.

[RELATED: Bradley Beal's All-Star hopes still alive]

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Bradley Beal won't require surgery for shoulder, Wizards GM says

Bradley Beal won't require surgery for shoulder, Wizards GM says

Bradley Beal's right rotator cuff injury is enough to keep him out of the NBA's restart in Orlando, but not enough to require surgery, according to Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard.

Sheppard said he doesn't "think surgery is an option at all" and repeated that claim, indicating it is not even on the table at this point. The team is confident Beal can manage the injury because he already has for roughly eight months.

Beal, Sheppard says, first hurt his shoulder on Nov. 27 against the Phoenix Suns. The rotator cuff was aggravated several times throughout the course of the season when he got bumped during games, often times when coming off screens.

Beal, of course, played very well despite the discomfort. He left off in March averaging 30.5 points per game, second in the NBA behind only James Harden.

RELATED: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM BEAL SITTING OUT

Sheppard says keeping him out now is more about preventing it from getting worse during a stretch of games that aren't as important as the team's big picture future.

"I think if we had another month of ramp-up time, Bradley would probably be ready to play. These are eight games vs. 82 next season and all the seasons beyond that. I think it's worth mitigating the risk right now for what's ahead," Sheppard said.

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Sheppard also noted the truncated NBA offseason due to the months-long postponement of games this season. With next season expected to begin in December, the turnaround will be quicker. A serious injury at this point could affect his status for the start of next season.

The Wizards want to avoid that because they are anticipating the return of John Wall from his Achilles injury and want to have both of their All-Star guards in the fold. Beal sitting out helps preserve that.

The question now is whether Beal can work around his right rotator cuff injury without surgery. He has proven he can manage it, but it has already lingered for eight months. Will it still be an issue, minor or major, five months from now?

For the meantime, Beal will have to watch from afar as the Wizards go to Orlando to close out their season. He is set to stay back in Washington and continue working with coaches at the Wizards' practice facility.

Beal ends the year with some pristine numbers: 30.5 points, 6.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. The points-per-game are the second-most in franchise history only to Walt Bellamy's 31.6 in 1961-62.

Not bad for a guy who was playing hurt.

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Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson apologizes for anti-Semitic post

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson apologizes for anti-Semitic post

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has apologized after backlash for sharing anti-Semitic posts on social media over the weekend.

"My post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community," Jackson said in a video he posted on Instagram on Tuesday. "I post things on my story all the time, and just probably never should have posted anything Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person, and I know that."

The team issued the following statement: "We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts. Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization. We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect. We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn, and grow."

The NFL also issued a statement, saying: "DeSean's comments were highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL's values of respect, equality and inclusion. We have been in contact with the team which is addressing the matter with DeSean."

Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, is in his second stint in Philadelphia, returning last season to the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2008 draft.

Former Eagles president Joe Banner criticized Jackson on Twitter. Banner wrote: "If a white player said anything about (African-Americans) as outrageous as what Desean Jackson said about Jews tonight there would at least be a serious conversation about cutting him and a need for a team meeting to discuss. Which would be totally appropriate. Absolutely indefensible."

Banner, who also worked for Cleveland and Atlanta, later shared an anti-Palestinian tweet with the hashtag "Palestinianprivilege getting away with murder."

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