Washington Wizards small forward Martell Webster will be out for 3-5 months after having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, the team announced on Friday.
Webster will begin rehabbing immediately and his injury occurred while working out at the Wizards’ practice facility last week, the team’s announcement also revealed. Webster’s back has proven to be a problem throughout his NBA career, as this marks the third time he will miss significant time because of a back issue.
Wester was a crucial role player for a Wizards team that won 44 regular season games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. In 78 regular season appearances, he averaged 27.7 minutes, 9.7 points (43.3 percent shooting from the field and 39.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc) and 2.8 rebounds.
The loss of Webster is especially important when considering Washington’s situation at the small forward position. Previous starter Trevor Ariza is a free agent and coming off an excellent season, he might be in for a pay day the Wizards don’t want to give. Perhaps they will make it more of a priority to re-sign him now.
Washington has 2013 No. 3 overall pick Otto Porter Jr. on the roster. While the Wizards were to likely give Porter Jr. more minutes next season regardless, Webster’s injury may mean Washington will have to rely too much on a player that averaged just 2.1 points on 36.3 percent shooting from the floor.
It certainly will be interesting to see how Webster’s injury changes Washington’s plans with Ariza and other potential free agent targets.