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Martell Webster to miss 3-5 months after back surgery

Webster could miss the start of the season after surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back.

Don't let the picture fool you, he injured his back, not his foot.
Don't let the picture fool you, he injured his back, not his foot.
Rob Carr

Definitely not the way you want to start the off-season. The Washington Wizards just sent out the following press release:

The Washington Wizards announced today that forward Martell Webster had successful microdisectomy surgery yesterday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. He will begin the rehab process immediately and is expected to miss approximately three to five months before resuming basketball activity.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins Jr. in Los Angeles following consultation with team doctors earlier in the week. Webster sustained the injury during a routine workout at the Wizards' practice facility last week.

Webster is no stranger to back issues. This will be the third time Webster has had this surgery since 2010. It's definitely not the kind of thing you want to hear about a 27 year old who still has three years left on his contract.

Of course, the timing of this news has several ripple effects on the Wizards:

  • First and foremost, a 3-5 month timetable for a return means there's a good chance Webster will not be ready for the start of next season. Three months from today is September 27th. Training camp started September 28th last season. So if you believe he can make it back at the very earliest possible date, he'd probably have less than a week with a clean bill of health before training camp begins at best. If you stretch it out to five months, Webster has already missed one month of the regular season. And let's not talk about how the Wizards have historically underestimated how long it takes players to recover from surgery.
  • While I'm sure Trevor Ariza's agent won't celebrate a man being injured, he'll probably mention Webster's condition a few times during negotiations.
  • Cue the Lionel Riche musicOtto Porter needs to be ready to go this year. With Webster down, he'll be expected to fill Webster's role much sooner than most of us expected.
  • Related: Please don't get injured this summer, Otto.