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Much, much worse news than last night

Okay, that's probably a bit much, but this is still bad.  

Mike Jones (who!) has the scoop.

It looks like the Wizards will be without forward Caron Butler for a third game when the Utah Jazz come to town Friday at 8 p.m.

Butler strained his left hip flexor in Sunday's 105-102 overtime loss in Milwaukee and then watched from the end of the bench in street clothes as his teammates outlasted the Raptors 108-104 in overtime Tuesday night in D.C. Butler didn't make the trip to Toronto for last night's game and he was sorely missed as the Raptors handed the Wizards their worst loss of the season, 122-83.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said Tuesday night that he planned to evaluate Butler in today's practice, but the team's leading active scorer didn't attend practice because of a bout with the flu. Right now he's supposedly a game-time decision, but someone from the team who spoke with him a few minutes ago said he sounded pretty bad. So, look for Washington to welcome Utah and it's prolific offense (105.2 points per game -- fifth in the league) without Butler and his 21.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals a game.

As far as the actual injury, I'm a little confused about whether the problem is the hip flexor or the bout with the flu.  One of those is not a big deal (people get over the flu easily), but the other is a problem.  My guess is that it's a combination of the two, but I'm hoping the flu is the bigger reason for the pessimism surrounding his return.

If he can't go, obviously, that's a major, major concern.  Butler's the team's most efficient scorer, it's highest-usage player, and it's charismatic leader, as we all know.  But more importantly, his injury concerns have to bring flashbacks to last year, when his knee problems helped cause his second-half nosedive.  If he takes a similar drop in production, we're in big trouble.  I'm confident he won't, but there's always that concern.


Update [2008-1-31 14:14:21 by Pradamaster]: Goodish news, I guess. Ivan Carter isn't quite as convinced that Butler won't play.

Caron Butler, who missed the last two games with a strained left hip flexor, was at home today sick with the flu. I hear he's pretty bad. That, combined with the hip issue, could mean that he doesn't go tomorrow night but they do call the man "Tough Juice" so we'll have to see. The team is calling Butler "day to day."
Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence, but still.