It wasn’t enough to temper the enthusiasm from Tuesday night’s upset win over the Miami Heat, but the sight of Trevor Ariza walking gingerly with a restrictive boot over his left foot and calf was not a good one for the Wizards on Wednesday.
Ariza suffered a left calf strain in the third quarter of the Wizards’ 105-101 victory over the Heat and was awaiting the results of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI] exam on Wednesday.
A similar injury sidelined Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin for 3½ weeks.
“I think we’re dealing with a little bit of what we had with Kevin and what did he miss, 3 1/2 weeks?” Wizards coach Randy Wittman saisd. “I’m not sitting here saying it’s going to be 3 ½ weeks, but we’re looking at some time.”
Ariza said he was running down the court when he felt a sudden pain in his lower left leg. He collapsed to the floor and grabbed his leg.
“When I was running I just felt something that was uncomfortable, something I never felt before,” he said. “I had to stop. I didn’t want to turn the ball over. We were in the middle of a run, so I had to stop play.”
Asked if he felt a pop, Ariza said he had.
“To me, that’s what I felt,” he said. “Hopefully, when I get the MRI results it doesn’t show anything popped, but that’s what I felt.”
Ariza, 27, has started 13 of the Wizards’ 15 games this season and is averaging 8.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He said this is the first calf injury of his nine-year NBA career.
“It’s very frustrating, but it is a part of the game,” he said. “That’s why we have 15 players, so other players can come along and pick up other players when they’re down.”
Wittman said Ariza’s absence would present an opportunity for Martell Webster and Cartier Martin to see more minutes.
In 14 games, Webster has come off the bench to average 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Martin has played in just seven games, averaging 4.3 points a game.
“Cartier is going to step in,” Wittman said. “He’s fully capable of doing it and I’ve got great confidence he can come right back in. We have Martell. Obviously, his minutes will increase. We can even move JC [Jordan Crawford] or Bradley [Beal], depending on who we’re playing, to a 2 or 3. We can move Shaun [Livingston] to a 2. There are cases we’ve had to do that because of his size.”
Ariza said he is hoping Tuesday night’s big win over the Heat will carry over into Friday night’s visit to Atlanta.
“It was big for us,” he said. “We needed that. … I’m just hoping the [calf strain] will hurry up so I can get back out there.”