By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 11, 2001 12:42 PM

Sports fans are feeling an adrenaline rush. Basketball great Michael Jordan has “all but confirmed” that he will return to the court as a player, the Cable News Network/Sports Illustrated Web site is reporting. Jordan, 38, said there was “a mechanism in place for a news conference to announce his return in Washington, D.C., sometime in the next 10 days,” basketball writer Marty Burns reported. “In a half-hour conversation on the curb outside Hoops the Gym Stadium Club on Monday, Jordan all but confirmed that he’ll be coming out of retirement again,” Burns wrote. Asked why he’d return, Jordan reportedly replied, “For the love of the game.” The NBA legend has apparently been getting back into shape in a Chicago gym in order to face playing 82 games a year at the professional level for the Washington Wizards, in which he became a part owner after retiring from the Chicago Bulls in 1999. (He will need to sell off his stake before he plays for them, according to NBA rules.) As a Bull, the 6-foot-6 Jordan helped lead the team to six championships. Jordan has told a small group of reporters, which also included representatives from the Associated Press and the Chicago Sun-Times, that his knees felt fine and that barring any recurrence of his tendonitis, “he’s coming back,” reported. Rating himself on a performance scale of one to 10, Jordan said he was 7 1/2 or 8, up from earlier estimates, the story said.