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Wizards' Haywood needs surgery; Jamison's knee likely to be ready for season

WASHINGTON -- Wizards center Brendan Haywood will have
surgery for a torn ligament in his right wrist, but it was not
clear Wednesday how much of the regular season he will miss.

Some teammates, including guard Antonio Daniels, who suffers
from the same injury in his non-shooting hand, said specialists
told him that the recovery could be months.

"It's a huge blow. A huge blow," Daniels said of Haywood's
loss. "He's coming off a career year, and he anchored our defense
really well last year. Very vocal. So, you miss that."

Haywood, hurt during training camp, visited two hand specialists
in New York on Wednesday. His operation has not been scheduled, and
the team said it wouldn't have a timetable for his return until
after the surgery.

Coach Eddie Jordan said the team will know a more definite
recovery time after surgery.

"We anticipate it to be pretty soon," Jordan said after the
Wizards' win at Memphis on Wednesday night. "Within a week. Who
knows?"

Washington did get some good medical news Wednesday about
another starter, though: All-Star forward Antawn Jamison has a
bruised right knee and is expected to be ready for the start of the
regular season. An MRI exam showed no other damage.

He was hurt during the first quarter of Washington's preseason
opener at the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Haywood averaged career highs of 10.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and
1.7 blocked shots last season.

"Brendan worked extremely hard over the summer after having a
career year last season," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said.
"This is disappointing, but we're confident that he will do
everything necessary to recover from this injury and continue that
progress."

Daniels said he was able to endure his wrist injury because it
wasn't his dominant hand. If it had been, he may have opted for
surgery. Instead, he rested it over the summer and continues to
play "lightly-braced, but heavily restricted."

"They say it is the most unpredictable hand surgery you can
have," Daniels said. "They cast you up for four to six months,
and you do all the rehab, do all the physical therapy, but there's
no guarantee you can come back healthy. You may be worse than what
you were. You may be the same."

Jordan said other players will have to step in to fill the void
left by Haywood's injury. There was a bit of promise in the win
against the Grizzlies as rookie JaVale McGee scored 20 points and
grabbed eight rebounds in 27 minutes.

"It's going to be hard to replace [Haywood's production],"
Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson said. "You do have Etan [Thomas]
playing well, and the rookie [McGee] played well, so he'll have to
step up."

Thomas missed all of last season after having open-heart
surgery.

Jordan said adapting to injuries is something the Wizards have
dealt with in recent seasons.

"We're used to this sort of adversity," he said. "We've had
injuries over the last four or five years, and we've responded.
We've had guys step up.

"Our front office has done a great job of balancing our roster
with solid veterans mixed with some young guys with talent. We've
been able to take the hit and still make the playoffs the last four
years."