- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2003

An MRI of his ailing right knee revealed that Washington Wizards guard Jerry Stackhouse has a worn lining on the back of the kneecap that could keep him out of the season opener.

“Of course I’d love to be there at the beginning of the season,” Stackhouse said. “But I’ve had this all summer, so why would I think that these two weeks are going to be any different. But if they find out something good, I’ll go from there.”

The condition, known as chondromalacia, is not believed to be serious. However, as a precautionary measure the Wizards likely will hold Stackhouse out of the remaining four preseason games.

“Jerry continues to experience discomfort,” said president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld, adding that the MRI also revealed no tears.

Stackhouse was examined yesterday by Dr. David Altchek, a New York specialist. His sore knee also has been examined by team doctor Stephen Hass.

“Our team doctors will consult with Jerry as well as the other physician who examined him, and together we will determine the best course of action,” Grunfeld said.

Stackhouse led the team in scoring (21.5) last season. He sat out his second preseason game in a row Tuesday, a 101-85 loss to Memphis that dropped Washington’s record to 1-3. The Wizards resume preseason play Saturday in New Orleans.

Neither the front office nor Stackhouse wants to rush him back. The soreness in his knee is believed to be directly related to a misaligned hip condition.

A renowned leaper, Stackhouse said he could not touch the bottom of the backboard if he tried to jump off his right leg.

Asked when he might return, Stackhouse replied, “I’m not setting any dates and I’m not saying any times, because I don’t know. Right now my knee hurts. Until my knee stops hurting, I won’t be playing with the team.”

If Stackhouse is not ready to play by the start of the season, second-year man Jared Jeffries or rookie Jarvis Hayes will start at small forward. Jeffries missed most of last year with a torn right ACL.

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