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Last updated: Fri. Jan. 25, 2013 - 12:26 am EDT

Butler standout cleared to practice with team

Clarke status still uncertain for Saturday's game

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Butler took a step closer to regaining its most potent offensive weapon on Thursday, as senior guard Rotnei Clarke practiced with the Bulldogs for the first time since being injured against Dayton nearly two weeks ago.

The Bulldogs' leading scorer suffered a neck injury in Butler’s 79-73 victory at Dayton on Jan. 12 and was cleared to practice Thursday prior to the team's workout.

“Rotnei saw a spine specialist again this morning and everything looks stable and he has no symptoms, so he was cleared for full contact,” Butler athletic trainer Ryan Galloy said in a release. “We will evaluate him again tomorrow (Friday) and then make a decision about Saturday.”

Clarke rejoined the team in a full workout on Thursday.

He was injured in the first half of the game at Dayton. He came up with a steal and was attempting to score when he was fouled on the lay-up attempt and crashed into the basket support. He remained on the floor for eight minutes, and eventually was taken from the court on a stretcher.

He was transported to Miami Valley Hospital, where it was determined that there was no fracture.

Clarke has been sidelined for Butler’s last three game, including the Bulldogs’ 54-53 loss at La Salle on Wednesday.

The 6-foot senior guard transferred to Butler from Arkansas in 2011, and began his final collegiate season this year. He leads the No. 9-ranked Bulldogs and ranks fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring with a 16.3 average.

Butler will host Atlantic 10 Conference opponent Temple on Saturday at 6 p.m. (ESPN2).

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