Warriors' Ellis Inching Closer To Return

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Monta Ellis passed another milestone in
his recovery from his offseason ankle injury Wednesday when the
Golden State Warriors' medical staff moved him into the final stage
of his rehabilitation.

Ellis, who hasn't played this season, underwent a strength test
Tuesday and an examination before Wednesday's game against the
Lakers. Team doctor John Belzer cleared Ellis to begin strenuous
running and jumping along with shooting drills, the final steps
before returning to practice and playing for Golden State.

The Warriors gave no timetable for Ellis' return to practice.

Ellis severely sprained his left ankle while crashing a
motorized scooter in August, about one month after he signed a
six-year, $66 million contract extension to stay with the Warriors.
The team suspended Ellis without pay for 30 games because he
violated his contract by riding the scooter. The suspension expired
last month.

Ellis averaged career bests of 20.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4
assists last season while emerging as a dependable shooter for the
league's highest-scoring club. The former second-round draft pick
was expected to be the centerpiece of Golden State's offense after
Baron Davis' offseason defection to the Clippers, but his injury
has been a major factor in the Warriors' dismal first half of the

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)