Wizards lose Martell Webster to another back surgery

Wizards lose Martell Webster to another back surgery
June 27, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Washington Wizards' Martell Webster is shown in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in Minneapolis.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The back issues continue for Martell Webster, who had surgery Friday to repair a herniated disk in his lower back that will keep him out 3-5 months before resuming basketball activities, the team announced.

Webster will be entering the second year of a four-year deal, the last of which isn't fully guaranteed and depends on him playing a certain number of games, that pays him $22 million. He was injured while working out at Verizon Center last week. 

After consulting with team doctors, Webster had the third disk surgery in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins Jr. Webster had surgery last summer to repair an abdominal tear. 

Before coming to Washington as a free agent in 2012-13, Webster had had two back surgeries with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played in just 46 of 82 games in 2010-11 and 47 of 66 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. 

After averaging a career-high 11.4 points for the Wizards, leading to the new deal last summer, Webster had a sub-par season. He averaged 9.7 points, though he played 78 games and started 13 of them. 

He likely won't be able to play until mid-season at the earliest.

In 2010, Webster had disk surgery in October and was projected to miss 4-6 weeks. He didn't play his first game until Dec. 14.  

In 2011, Webster had the same surgery in September and played his first game Jan. 27, 2012. 

The back injury initially occurred when Webster had a nasty spill in a playoff game with his previous team, the Portland Trail Blazers, and has haunted him ever since. He was traded to the Timberwolves, who didn't disclose the injury, which led to a dispute between the teams that had to be settled in secrecy.

Webster told CSN Washington after this season, when he clearly was ailing and not in the best of moods, that he'd been dealing with back issues after a November home game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Then Webster re-aggravated it in a road game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers in March. 

His injury means rising second-year player Otto Porter is in line to get more playing time after a forgettable rookie campaign. Trevor Ariza, who beat out Webster for the starting job this past season, was a top priority to re-sign regardless of Webster's status. 

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