WIz finish frustrating road trip on low note
Trevor Ariza has dealt with calf strains, knee soreness and now the problem is with his right hamstring.
Ariza went down Wednesday in the Wizards' 92-79 loss at the San Antonio Spurs after playing just 17 minutes. John Wall left the game after being poked in his right eye and while it still is swollen he didn't require any further testing and isn't expected to miss time.
Ariza had an MRI Thursday but it didn't reveal damage that could be season-ending, CSN Washington learned.
Of course, strained muscles and inflamed connective tissue injuries can linger all season and Ariza likely will be listed as day-to-day like rookie Otto Porter (right hip flexor).
Ariza jumped the passing lane to steal an outlet pass from Tim Duncan to Tony Parker. Ariza drove into the paint and avoided a charge but fell hard to the floor with most of his weight landing on his right leg first. He immediately grabbed his hamstring and could be seen favoring it.
He didn't come out of the game right way as Marcin Gortat shot free throws on the play. There was a timeout and instead of sitting Ariza went back out and tried to play through it. But with 2:31 left in the second quarter, he had to foul Kawhi Leonard on a breakaway. Ariza was in position to challenge the shot but couldn't catch up because of his leg. He went to the locker room and didn't return.
"I felt like a little pop," Ariza said after the game. "It didn't feel the same.
"I asked to stay in because I wanted to see. I told (coach Randy Wittman) I was alright. As I ran again I felt it again. I had to foul him and come out the game."
A prolonged absence would mean Martell Webster, who ended last season as the starting small forward, likely will step in Ariza's role.
Webster competed with him for the starting job in training camp but gladly conceded the spot to Ariza, who also is considered the Wizards' best one-on-one defender and is in the final year of his contract.
When the Wizards upset the Brooklyn Nets, the 6-8 Ariza was instrumental in holding Paul Pierce to four points in that game.
Who fills that void? Probably no one in particular. But Ariza's injury could speed up the urgency for Porter, the Wizards' No. 3 overall draft pick in June, to get acclimated and back on the floor.
Porter, a 6-8 small forward who has been limited by injuries since the Las Vegas summer league, hasn't practiced with the Wizards. While he has been able to do individual work, Porter hasn't been able to take part in contact drills.
Ariza's injury prompted Chris Singleton, who had a screw inserted in a toe on his left foot in September, to feel urgency to return sooner than later.
"Got to get back out there and help my team" Singleton wrote from his Twitter account.
Said Ariza: "For the whole team, it feels like if it isn't one thing it's another. Martell came in and played well. so hopefully we find ways to get it done Saturday."
That's a home game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).