- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2002

With the possibility of undergoing surgery that could keep him sidelined for as long as three months, Washington Wizards center Jahidi White is seeking a third opinion on his aching left knee.
White has an abnormal growth on the end of his left patella that has been causing him acute pain. Yesterday, he got a second opinion from New York Knicks team doctor Norman Scott, who also administered an MRI.
It is believed that White is beginning to lean toward having surgery on the injury, but he and his agent, David Bauman, want to make sure they have taken every precaution. Therefore, White will get a third opinion, perhaps as early as today, by a specialist in Chicago.
"The key is for Jahidi to get himself healthy, pain free, so that he can contribute to the Wizards this season," Bauman said. "We are not going to have surgery just for the sake of having surgery. At the end of the day Jahidi is going to do what's right for Jahidi."
White was unavailable for comment.
Apparently the condition forced the 6-foot-9, 293-pound center out of one game last season. However, he was told by the Wizards medical team to rest the knee for about one month after the season and then see how it responds.
White stayed away from basketball for two months but when he resumed workouts recently the pain became more pronounced.
Yesterday, Dr. Scott and Wizards doctor Stephen Hass conferred after Scott's evaluation, and the two appear to be torn over what should be done. Scott apparently is suggesting surgery.
However, Hass, who is not permitted to talk unless the organization gives him the green light, feels that White might be better served with continued rest while taking anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the condition.
White, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, has not completely made up his mind which way to go.
White wants surgery as a last step. However, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, White also is said to be leery of taking the drugs in large doses because of what happened to his friend, Miami and former Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning. Mourning developed a kidney ailment that forced him out of all but 13 games in the 2000-01 season. He has yet to return to his All-Star form.
Mourning had taken high doses of the medication for years and there has been great speculation that his condition, at least in part, might be related to the drugs. This, however, has not been proved.
Earlier in the season, Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal also balked at taking anti-inflammatory drugs, and he too mentioned Mourning's condition as his reason.
White started for the Wizards most of last season, averaging 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 points. Numerous teams have inquired about his availability. This season White will earn more than $4.5million.
However, later this week he will lose his base compensation label, meaning that if the Wizards were to trade him, they would be fully compensated with a player or players making an equivalent salary.

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