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Markieff Morris out six weeks due to neck injury

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Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Wizards announced on Thursday that Markieff Morris will be limited to non-contact basketball activities for six weeks after being diagnosed with transient cervical neuropraxia.

Morris traveled to Dallas earlier this week to consult with a specialist on the injury that has kept him out of the last three games. The team says they expect he will be cleared to resume full basketball activities after this six-week period.

If that holds to form, Morris would be allowed to return on February 14, a day after the team plays the Raptors in their final game before the All-Star break. That would give Morris a full week to get back to form before the Wizards travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets on February 22.

Morris’ recovery timetable could also throw a wrench in the Wizards’ plans, since he will not be able to return before the February 7 trade deadline. He could still be useful in a trade as an expiring contract, but it’s unlikely a team would want to trade for him as part of a playoff push without a clear understanding of how he’ll perform once he’s cleared to play.

Until Morris is healthy enough to play, the Wizard will have to keep leaning on Thomas Bryant and their small lineups to turn things around on the interior. The Wizards rank last in rebounding rate and allow the third-most points per game on second-chance opportunities. We’ll have to wait and see if this spurs the Wizards to add more depth in the paint.