Trevor Ariza's left calf injury did not look good when it happened on Tuesday night, and it appears the Washington Wizards' forward will indeed miss several games. Following Wednesday's practice, Wizards coach Randy Wittman told reporters that Ariza could miss three weeks of action depending on the result of an MRI.
#WizardsTalk Trevor Ariza could miss 3 weeks with calf strain— Chuck Gormley (@ChuckGormleyCSN) December 5, 2012
Ariza was having an MRI today on his left calf. Wittman guessed similar timeline to Seraphin's injury in preseason (three weeks). #Wizards— Craig Stouffer (@CraigStouffer) December 5, 2012
Three weeks would mean that Ariza would miss 10 games. The Wizards' next game after that stretch is on December 26 at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ariza suffered the injury while chasing down a loose ball after he stripped Rashard Lewis in the third quarter. The Wizards gained possession, but Ariza asked them to call timeout to get him out of the game. He stayed on the ground for a while before dragging his leg off the court and onto the bench. He also was noticeably limping in the Wizards' locker room after the game last night, and trainer Eric Waters went to attend to him.
In his absence, one would think that Martell Webster will be elevated into the starting lineup, particularly after another strong performance last night. Of course, you never know with all of Wittman's lineup juggling. I would also expect to see Cartier Martin get more of a chance to get on the court.
The Wizards will likely gain more floor spacing with Ariza out, but they definitely will lose something defensively, on the glass and in transition. Ariza's defensive effort has been much better recently, and even when he's not scoring, he's always grabbing long rebounds and trying to be active otherwise. Of course, the gains in floor spacing may be enough to make up for those other deficiencies. We will see how this plays out.