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Jefferson has missed almost four months

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Injured All-Star forward Richard Jefferson plans to practice Friday as the New Jersey Nets get ready
to take on the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Jefferson has missed almost four months with a torn ligament in
his left wrist. Earlier this week, he said he would play if the
Nets made the playoffs. The Nets clinched the eighth seed in the
Eastern Conference with a win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday
night. They open their series against the top-seeded Heat Sunday in
Miami.

Nets coach Lawrence Frank said Thursday he would be better able to evaluate Jefferson's status after seeing him practice.

"Richard can certainly help us," Frank said. "There's no
question about that. But I just don't know how much. I don't think
he knows how much. It would be unfair to place expectations on him.
I know he's the kind of guy that would do anything to help the
team, but it's kind of hard for me to tell what he can do. We're
going to feel it out and see what happens."

Jefferson was hurt against Detroit on Dec. 27. He had surgery on Jan. 20 and had a cast removed on March 14. He has yet to practice
with the Nets, who won 15 of their last 19 games in their late dash
for a fourth straight playoff berth.

Before he was injured, Jefferson was enjoying the best season of
his NBA career, averaging 22.2 points per game in 33 games.