- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 26, 2003

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
INDIANAPOLIS Washington Wizards reserve center Etan Thomas could be lost for the season due to a fracture that was discovered in the orbital bone in his left eye.
"Etan is going to a see a doctor next week, and if the double vision has gone away then he will be out just two weeks," coach Doug Collins said. "If not he would likely have surgery and then be out for at least six weeks."
After Collins made that announcement, he startled those within earshot when he said that the Wizards likely would place Thomas on the injured list and activate Jahidi White and have him dressed and ready to play in his first game of the season tomorrow when the Wizards play host to the Houston Rockets.
White has spent the entire season on the injured list following offseason knee surgery. Collins has often said that White, who is not anywhere near being 100 percent, was unlikely to play at all this season.
"I don't know how effective Jahidi will be," Collins said, "but I know he wants to play. We'll just have to see."
If Thomas is lost for the season it will mark the second time in his three years in the league he has lost huge chunks of games to injury. Thomas, a lottery pick in 2000, missed all of his rookie season with a toe injury. He showed promise last year, playing in 47 games.
This season he suffered a hamstring injury in training camp and had been used sparingly, appearing in just 38 games.
With Thomas potentially out, and Jared Jeffries lost for the season (torn left anterior cruciate ligament), the Wizards are seeing their once promising group of young big men fall by the wayside.
"First Jared and now Etan. And of course Jahidi for most of the season," Collins said. "It's really disappointing."
John N. Mitchell


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