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Francisco Garcia makes his grand return to the hardwood

Feb 17, 2010, 11:05 AM EDT

Francisco Garcia, who was originally slated to be a starter for the Sacramento Kings before he broke his right forearm some four months ago. But he finally made his regular season debut for the Kings last night, amidst much fanfare and little of the actually playing. From Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:

García entered the game with 9:54 left in the second quarter. He left with 8:31 to go before halftime with two fouls. His only shot attempt during that time was blocked by Rasheed Wallace. Many at Arco Arena met García with a standing ovation as he approached the scorer’s table. García, who did not play in the second half, admitted he was fatigued by his brief stint. “It felt good to be out there with my teammates,” García said. “I felt a little weird out there, but that was expected.”

Garcia’s mortal enemy, the physioball, was unavailable for comment.

Francisco still has a long way to go before he’s in any kind of NBA shape; players returning from significant injuries have to regain their timing and their stamina, not to mention their shooting touch. So while Garcia is likely to see the court in the coming weeks, he’s a long way away from supplanting Donte Greene or Omri Casspi as a starting forward. Garcia is still a significant member of this Kings team, and though he obviously had little to do with their early season success, he’s exactly the kind of rotation player Sacramento could use on a nightly basis.

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