Brand cleared to begin dribbling, take stationary shots

Los Angeles Clippers forward Elton Brand this week took the next step in his recovery from surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon. Brand went for a checkup in Delaware, where he had his surgery, and he was cleared to begin dribbling and taking stationary shots.

"We are pretty much still with the original plan," said Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery at Christiana Care's Wilmington Hospital. "The rest of his rehabilitation is going to be getting his strength back."

Brand, who suffered the injury during a regular offseason workout in August in Southern California, is set to begin the new activities Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first had the report.

A normal timetable for recovery from Achilles tendon injuries is about a year, but Brand is targeting February 2008 for his return.

Morgan said Brand would need to have about 90 percent of his overall strength in his left Achilles tendon before he would be cleared to practice. Right now, he's at about 75 percent. "He looks good," Morgan said. "He is right on schedule."

Brand, who was able to shed his walking boot in later October, has been able to participate in advanced elliptical and treadmill cardiovascular conditioning and aqua-therapy. He also has been on an upper-body strength program, along with rehabilitation of the injury itself.