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Good news for Chauncey Billups

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Chauncey Billups underwent an MRI on his injured calf on Tuesday. The timeline for his return hasn't changed, but the good news is that the exam confirmed that he only suffered a strain. From the Pistons official site:

"Feeling better," said Billups, walking with a barely noticeable limp less than five days removed from what first appeared a catastrophic injury. "The MRI was good, pretty much exactly what we thought it was, just a strain. I’m definitely relieved to know it is what we thought it was."

Billups has yet to attempt to run, though he’s been arriving at the Pistons’ practice facility about 90 minutes before practice to work with strength coach Arnie Kander.

"It’s been getting better every day," said Billups, adding that getting lift on his jump shot and pushing off his injured leg will present the biggest hurdles. "I haven’t hit that plateau yet and hopefully I don’t and it continues to get better and I can increase my activity more and more with Arnie every day. That’s what I’m hoping for."

Flip Saunders said last week that he hoped to get Hunter back in practice at some point this week, and Hunter said Wednesday that was still realistic. The Pistons will travel directly to Chicago after Thursday’s game and practice there Friday.

"He’s made a lot of progress the last couple of days," Saunders said of Billups. "The No. 1 thing is we’re not going to take any chances. We’ll make sure he’s pretty fully recovered before we throw him in there." As for Hunter, "We play Thursday and we’ll see what happens Friday. He’s going on the trip with us, so we’ll see."

The Pistons left this afternoon for a three-game road trip that kicks off in Oklahoma City tomorrow evening. They'll be in Chicago on Saturday and Philadelphia on Tuesday. It might be a stretch for both guys to be back in time for Saturday's game, but from the sounds of it they should be ready to roll for the "new look" Sixers.

Ready for Takeoff [Pistons.com]