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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sixers' Jason Richardson experiences setback, still wants to play this season


76ers guard Jason Richardson incurred a setback in his bid to return to the court this season.

Richardson said his surgically repaired left knee has taken on fluid, though he’s unsure what he did to trigger the swelling. The 13th-year man, who said he’s not experiencing any pain in the afflicted joint, still has his eyes pointed toward playing this season.

“Yeah, I had some setbacks. I don’t know,” Richardson said Saturday, before the Sixers hosted the Utah Jazz. “Like I told (Sixers coach Brett Brown) when we talked a month ago, if it’s 10 or 15 or two games, I want to come back. That’s my goal. That’s my motivation. If it doesn’t happen, (my goal is) get ready for next year.”

At the start of the season, Richardson had been limited to workouts in a pool. Last month, he was cleared to take light jumpshots for the first time in nearly a year. The 33-year-old Richardson had been working toward attaining clearance to resume running.

“It’s just part of the rehab,” Richardson said. “I’m trying to get back as quickly as I can, at least a couple games for my own confidence. Then I can go into the offseason thinking about what I have to do for next season.”

Earlier this week, Brown said he didn’t expect Richardson to play, pointing to a “gut feel.” As the player with the most league experience, Richardson has been told by Brown that “he has an open mic” to speak up in the locker room.

“It does mean a lot to me, because I pride myself on being a positive guy and a good teammate to a whole bunch of young guys,” Richardson said. “I love to hear that, especially from Brett. He’s a great coach and I respect him a lot. That makes me feel confident about being here and around this group of guys as much as I can.”

Richardson was acquired by the Sixers in August 2012 as part of the four-team deal that also brought Andrew Bynum to town. He averaged 10.5 points on a career-worst .402 field-goal percentage in 33 games last season before suffering a left knee injury that required surgery to correct.

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