Stop me if you have heard this before: the Wizards will be going into training camp with some injuries on their roster. Unfortunately the injury bug has bit them a few times with Isaiah Thomas, CJ Miles and now Troy Brown Jr. on the shelf, and of course that doesn’t include John Wall who is still rehabbing from a ruptured Achilles from last season.
In recent history this has not been new. The Wizards have started a number of seasons with players on the shelf. Let’s take a look back at the past four years and the injuries the team suffered before beginning training camp.
Perhaps the most infamous of injured Wizards, Alan Anderson was an NBA journeyman who had spent years playing overseas. But he was finally was able to gain traction in the league as a 3-and-D role player. The Wizards signing him was expected to help fill the void lost with the departure of Paul Pierce, but instead Anderson went on to only play nine games the entire season after having an ankle injury prior to training camp.
In addition to Anderson, Jared Dudley was also supposed to be a key contributor as a small ball 4, but instead his training camp was taken away with an offseason surgery to repair a herniated disk. Dudley would eventually come back earlier than expected at the beginning of the season and had some positive moments throughout the year.
In Scott Brooks, first season at the helm as coach, he would start out camp missing his all-star point guard after John Wall had offseason double knee surgery. Wall would start the season on a minutes restriction and not playing back-to-back games before ramping it up and having another all-star season.
Wizards’ big free agent acquisition Ian Mahinmi missed portions of training camp due to back problems. He also had knee problems that flared up during the season which eventually derailed the first year of a four-year contract that he had just signed that offseason. He went on to play only 31 games that season.
The training camp roster was relatively healthy with only Markieff Morris having offseason sports hernia surgery that ended up costing him training camp and the first few games of the season. He would eventually go on to 73 games and also played in the playoffs that season.
Dwight Howard was the big name acquisition that was expected to replace the contributions of the departed Marcin Gortat. Instead Howard started training camp out having issues with his back that never really fully corrected themselves. He came back to play in 9 games before having back surgery and shutting it down for the rest of the season.
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Regardless of your expectations of this team, it is challenging to truly be able to start a season without knowing who will be available to contribute. Maybe it is a string of bad luck, or maybe they have just had the same misfortunes that other teams have also suffered. Regardless of what conclusion you draw, it is difficult to overcome. And it is unfortunate that the Wizards have four players out, but at least with three of them, they should be back early in the season, barring any setbacks. Perhaps that is the silver lining for this year’s string of injuries.