Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza went down on Tuesday night in the Wizards 105-101 win over the defending champion Miami Heat. The injury occurred early in the third quarter, when Ariza’s leg seemed to almost give way underneath him in a non-contact injury.
The immediate diagnosis was a strained left calf. Ariza left the game and did not return. On Wednesday, Ariza had an MRI and afterword, showed up at Verizon Center wearing a walking boot.
“When I was running I just felt something that was uncomfortable, something I never felt before,” Ariza said. “I had to stop. I didn’t want to turn the ball over. We were in the middle of a run, so I had to stop play.”
Ariza said he felt something pop in his leg.
“To me, that’s what I felt. Hopefully, when I get the MRI results it doesn’t show anything popped but that’s what I felt.”
Ariza called it a frustrating time to be sidelined. After struggling with some inconsistent play to start the season, he was beginning to find his rhythm. His best game so far was a 12 point, 15 rebound performance against the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 21, the team the Wizards will face next, on Friday in Atlanta.
“Yeah, it’s very frustrating but it is a part of the game,” Ariza said. “That’s why we have 15 players, so other players can come along and pick up other players when they’re down.”
Ariza, 27, has played for the Knicks, Magic, Lakers, Rockets and Hornets, and says he’s over the whole ‘wanting to play well against a former team’ motivator.
In their toughest stretch of the season so far, the Wizards will play four games in five nights next week, and three of those teams – the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets – are teams Ariza once played for.
“To be honest with you, I have plenty of former teams,” Ariza said. “I look at every game as just another opponent.”
Ariza says he’s had on a walking boot before, but he ‘s never had a calf injury before, so he has no time frame for when he might be back on the court. When asked about Ariza’s injury, Wizards coach Randy Wittman had to catch himself – at first thinking about his other injured forward named Trevor - Trevor Booker.
“We haven’t got a report back,” Wittman said. “He’s probably going to miss some time is the way I’m anticipating with a calf strain. I think we’re dealing with a little bit of what we had with Kevin [Seraphin] and what did he miss? Three-and-half weeks?”
“I’m not sitting here saying it’s going to be three and a half weeks, week, but we’re looking at some time. Hey, it’s another opportunity. Cartier [Martin] is going to step in. He’s fully capable of doing it and I’ve got great confidence he can come right back in.”
“We have Martell [Webster]. Obviously his minutes will increase. We can even move JC [Jordan Crawford] or Bradley [Beal], depending on who we’re playing, to a 2 or 3. We can move Shaun [Livingston] to a 2. There are cases we’ve had to do that because of his size.”
The Wizards are now without John Wall, Trevor Booker and Trevor Ariza and Nene is playing hurt.