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Lou Williams getting closer to return

Sixers starting guard Lou Williams has been practicing and is now waiting for clearance to return to lineup.

Since getting the wires snipped Wednesday that were keeping his broken jaw closed, guard Lou Williams has been practicing with the team and should return to game-action shortly. It could be as early as Tuesday in Washington when Williams suits up again. If not then, probably a week from tomorrow when the team plays Utah in the first of a five-game West coast trip.

"We're just making sure the jaw's healed completely," said Williams after today's shoot around at TD Garden in Boston. "They don't want to put me in harm's way. I'm just waiting now for the doctors to clear me."

Williams broke the jaw November 24th in Washington and tonight will be the 12th game he's missed. He originally wasn't supposed to be back until sometime after the New Year, which was one of the reasons the team brought back Allen Iverson. Iverson didn't make the trip to Boston because of an arthritic left knee. He is expected to play tomorrow when the Sixers host the L.A. Clippers.

Without Williams and Iverson, coach Eddie Jordan will have to juggle his starting lineup yet again. Tonight, Willie Green will start in the backcourt with rookie Jrue Holiday. Sam Dalembert will be at center with Andre Iguodala and Thad Young at the forward spots. Elton Brand and Marreese Speights will be the first bigs off the bench.

"I probably like Willie (to start)," Jordan said after the shoot around. "I like (Speights and Brand coming off the bench) and we still want to dictate some tempo early in the game. Willie and Jrue give us that."

Williams has looked good in practice, Jordan said, and is itching to get back into action.

"I feel good. Obviously I'm dealing with some soreness, just not being able to be banged around in practice a little bit. Conditioning-wise I feel great. I feel like I could play tonight if it was up to me. I'm gonna wear my suit (on the bench tonight) because if I've got my uniform on, hey.  So I'm going to wear my suit."