"He looks pretty good," WVU Director of Basketball Operations Jerrod Calhoun said.
"Honestly, I'm fine now. I'm good to go," Butler added. "I'm working out every day and shooting. I'm just playing as much as I can to get back into shape. I'm lifting a lot to keep the strength up in my leg."
Medically, Butler has been cleared to play. He says it is now time for him to put faith in the knee and just play.
"Honestly, I trust it," Butler said. "There's certain things I don't trust myself to do, because I haven't done them in a long time. That's a little different. Some things (in his rehab workouts) that are new get thrown at me, so maybe I won't trust my knee at first. It's like I don't want to rush into something new.
"I'm starting to catch myself beginning to do the things I used to do. Like, if we're playing five-on-five, I'm not even thinking about my knee anymore. I just go out and play. That's cool, because I was so worried about my knee for the longest time. Now I don't even worry about it that much."
There will come a time when Butler finds himself back on the court, but it may take longer than he wants. He is under contract with the Spurs for next season, but NBA owners are expected to lock out their players when the league's collective bargaining agreement ends, on June 30.
The NBA has already canceled its Las Vegas summer league, which would have given Butler an opportunity to show he's back.
"I'll probably look to the team before any kind of lockout, if there is one, for any advice," Butler said. "I'll do whatever the team wants me to do, but I'm not sure what's going to happen."
The one thing Butler is sure of: "I'll know I'll be as nervous as hell before my first game back. That may be the most nervous I'll ever be before a basketball game."
Understandable, considering he waited for a year -- and some change -- to play in it.
"I realize I'm a little more tougher than I thought I was," Butler said. "I've learned a lot about myself in general. I've also learned I have a great support staff around me. WVU and the fans have always supported me. I have my family and friends who have stuck with me through this. They kept me grounded and kept me relaxed, which helped a lot."
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