Blatche to miss training camp after being shot

Updated: September 28, 2005, 7:56 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards rookie Andray Blatche will miss training camp while he recovers from gunshot wounds from an attempted carjacking.

Blatche walked under his own power as he visited with teammates at the MCI Center on Wednesday, three days after the shooting and one day after being released from the hospital.

"It is unfortunate that it happened and I have certainly learned from this situation," Blatche said in a statement released by the team.

The 19-year-old forward was shot once early Sunday morning while riding in a car near his home in Alexandria, Va. The bullet hit him in the right forearm and on the left side of his chest.

"It's a very scary situation," said Ernie Grunfeld, president of basketball operations. "We're just grateful he didn't get hurt worse than he was.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Grunfeld said. "He'll learn from it."

Blatche, a second-round draft pick directly from high school, wasn't expected to be an immediate impact player with the Wizards, who advanced to the second round of the playoffs last season. The team opens training camp Tuesday in Richmond, Va.

"He won't be a participant in training camp," Grunfeld said. "He'll start doing his rehab and we'll see how all that goes, and that will determine how quickly we can have him back in action."

Blatche said: "We have no timetable for my return, but I'm working hard and expect to make a full recovery. I am very anxious to get back on the court and help my teammates any way I can."

Grunfeld also said the Wizards will not match the offer sheet guard Steve Blake signed last week with the Portland Trail Blazers. Blake spent two seasons with the Wizards, but his playing time diminished last season and he became expendable when the team added Chucky Atkins, Antonio Daniels and Caron Butler over the summer.

"Since we upgraded our backcourt situation the way we have, he didn't think he has an opportunity here," Grunfeld said. "He preferred being in another situation."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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