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Martell Webster says he'll 'probably' retire after current contract is up

The Wizards small forward cites his health and his long-held desire to retire while he is still young.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Martell Webster has once again indicated that he is likely to retire when the last three years on his contract after finished. Webster, who has battled back trouble throughout his career, just underwent his third back surgery this summer and is out for an indefinite period of time.

In speaking to the Washington Post's Jorge Castillo, Webster laid out his thinking:

"I know this game is probably not going to be the healthiest thing for me if I try to stretch it out as much as a possibly can, So I intend to really give everything I got for these last three years of my contract and probably walk away from this game so I can be healthy."

While Webster wasn't 100 percent certain he would retire, concern about the long term impacts on his health will be a big factor in his decision on whether to continue playing:

"I can't keep giving my body that type of stress for very long because it's going to have residual effects especially after I retire," Webster said. "So then I was just like, ‘Yo, man, just really think about it. You're going to give it your all this last contract and see how you feel. I'm not putting that I'm going to retire, but the thought has crept in and has sustained in my memory. It still is, to this day, a very, very great possibility."

This is not the first time that Martell has contemplated the idea of retirement due to his back issues. In a January 2013 Washington Post piece, he expressed his thoughts about contemplating retirement after being bought out of his contract with the Timberwolves:

"It was discouraging during those times when I was unhealthy because I felt I would never get back to where I wanted to be or even close, and I was thinking about giving it up, because it was that tedious."I was thinking, ‘Is this worth it? Is it worth me trashing my body? I'm going to pay for this in the long run.' "

Though Webster did eventually return, and ended up having the best year of his career in 2012-13, the back problems would recur, as would thoughts of retirement.  In February of this year, Blazers play by play broadcaster Mike Barrett tweeted that Webster let him in on his plans after basketball:

Clearly these issues are something that have weighed on Webster's mind for some time. Given the recurrence of his back problems, it's understandable that he is wary of playing beyond his current deal. For Wizards fans, they have to just hope that he can return from this latest surgery able to remain healthy and productive for the next several years of his career.