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Photo: Marcin Gortat and Dwight Howard at halftime of the Phoenix Suns game against the Los Angeles Lakers at US Airways Center. (Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports)

His return this season remains a long shot, but Marcin Gortat did receive some positive news Monday prior to the game against the Los Angeles Lakers: he can ditch the cast.

Gortat, after a visit with the doctor, walked -- still with the aid of crutches -- into the locker room, but minus the cast he had been wearing since he was diagnosed with a Lisfranc sprain of his right foot. The cast has been replaced with a walking boot.

The change in footwear, however, has done nothing to change the timetable for how long Gortat is to be sidelined.

He's a week into what the team originally said was a three-to-four week injury; and that's before he's cleared to resume any basketball activity.

Gortat hurt the foot in the first quarter against Toronto on March 6.

Craig Grialou, Reporter

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