- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2002

Nobody with the Washington Wizards seems to know when or if Michael Jordan will play again this season, to say nothing of next year. No one is even saying when he will begin his rehabilitation from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday.

However, coach Doug Collins, who has talked with Jordan every day since the surgery, said he believes that if Jordan can come back this season, he will even if the Wizards are out of the playoff race.

"I think he's going to do everything he can to come back," Collins said before last night's game at the Chicago Bulls, which did not end in time for this edition. "But again, I don't know what the healing process is going to be. I don't even think he knows. In his heart, I know that he would like to come back and finish out the season. I don't think he wants to go out on the injured list. I don't think he wants to go out with knee surgery. I think he really wants to come back and finish, and then I think he'd make an evaluation on next year."

Jordan told Collins that "the only way I can play next year is to have something done on my knee," so maybe Jordan is planning on playing next season.

Before going on the injured list this week, Jordan had missed just two games this season because of injury. His only other stint on the IL came during the 1985-86 season, when he broke his foot. Jordan did not miss a game during his last three seasons in Chicago.

He leads the Wizards in scoring and is eighth in the NBA at 24.3 points.

Jordan isn't the only Wizard with knee problems. Big men Brendan Haywood and Jahidi White, neither of whom played Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, sat out last night's game with sore left knees.

White, a 6-foot-9 center, is averaging 6.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Haywood, a 7-foot backup center, is averaging 5.6 points, six rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

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