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Richard Jefferson Cleared to Play
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 28, 2000
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Tucson, Ariz. University of Arizona sophomore forward Richard Jefferson (Phoenix, Ariz.) has been cleared for practice and will be available to play this week when the third-ranked Wildcats travel to Oregon State on Thursday and Oregon on Saturday.

Jefferson had missed the previous 13 games after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot three minutes into the Stanford game back on Jan. 8. X-rays that were done today showed that his foot had healed properly and he was able to practice this afternoon with the team.

Prior to the injury, he was fourth on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and first in three-point shooting (.452/14-31). He was averaging 4.9 rpg, which is still third on the squad and is shooting 53.2% from the field (67-126). He had started all 15 games at the small forward position prior to going down with the injury.

"We will get three workouts with him this week and see how much he can help us on this trip," Arizona head coach Lute Olson said. "I saw him struggle last week with his breathing so I expect four minutes at a time with him would be about the maximum, but we will know better by Wednesday. Just the fact that we will have another player we can go to for somebody to be able to get a breather will help us, or if we do get into foul trouble we will have more flexibility.

"He is trying to build up his endurance but there isn't anything that can get you in shape for basketball except for basketball, it's a very demanding game from a conditioning standpoint."

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