- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2008

The only break the Wizards are able to catch is the breaking down of a body part.

The preseason is barely under way, and the medical news reverberating around the Wizards is unsettling.

Brendan Haywood was destined to be out for one week until further evaluations of the wrist on his shooting hand showed he needs surgery and will miss four to six months.

Antawn Jamison is out of commission the next few weeks with a right-knee contusion.

And Gilbert Arenas is out until who knows when.

That injury report involves three of the team’s five starters, leaving Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson the momentarily healthy starters.

Injuries, of course, have been the deciding story line of the Wizards the last two seasons.

Injuries are the thread that connects these Wizards to the ‘80s Bullets, sentenced to the NBA’s netherworld after the premature fall of first Jeff Ruland and then John Williams.

It took the franchise a generation to recover from the injury-induced demise of Ruland and Williams.

In this “Back to the Future” segment of the Wizards, the season already has been tempered by the uncertainty of Arenas, three knee surgeries down and potentially more on the way.

Another blow to the foundation - a sidelined Jamison or Butler would qualify - and the fate of the Wizards will be sealed until next season.

The Wizards are working on their fourth “next season” after advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2005.

The unexpected ascent of the Wizards in 2005 stands as the high point of the Arenas-Jamison coupling.

Who knew that the last-second shot of Arenas in Game 5 of the Wizards-Bulls series possibly would represent the zenith of this era? Who knew the celebration that ensued after the Wizards eliminated the Bulls in six games would have to suffice for possibly another 23 years?

That was how long Washington fans had been waiting for a playoff series victory.

Story Continues →