The Charlotte Bobcats could be without their big offseason acquisition when they open the season on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets because of a sprained right ankle. Jefferson is optimistic that he'll be ready to go, but the team is listing him as "questionable," via the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.
Jefferson said "in my head" he's ready to play Wednesday against perennial All-Star Dwight Howard, whom the Rockets signed during the summer. The two have played against each other since their mutual rising-senior summer in high school. Both turned pro out of high school in 2004.
"The ankle felt good," Jefferson said after practice. "My lungs were hurting more than anything, my wind."
He said he understood why Clifford and the team's medical staff might be cautious in projecting whether he will be ready for the opener. Part of the issue will be how Jefferson's ankle feels overnight, now that he has tested it in practice.
Jefferson has been out of action since landing on Chris Bosh's ankle in a preseason game Oct. 11. He participated in most of Charlotte's practice on Monday, but the team is still being cautious. Whenever he does return, his presence in the post should significantly impact how the Bobcats run their offense.