Starting power forward Andray Blatche has a strained right shoulder, and according to Washington Wizards officials, the status of the team’s second leading scorer is day-to-day after an MRI this morning revealed no structural damage.
Blatche hurt his shoulder in the opening minutes of last night’s 95-76 loss to Milwaukee at Verizon Center. Trapped in a double-team on the Wizards’ defensive end, Blatche attempted to gather a loose ball in between the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings and Luc Mbah a Moute and landed hard on his right side.
With Blatche clearly in pain on the court, play continued in the other direction, and it wasn’t until the Wizards called a 20-second timeout that athletic trainers were able to tend to him. Blatche remained on the floor for several minutes before rising to his feet and eventually walking to the locker room.
The injury occurred with 8 minutes 46 seconds left in the quarter and with the Wizards leading, 7-2. Milwaukee subsequently went on a 10-1 run in taking its first lead and outscored Washington in the second quarter, 29-15, en route to the comfortable victory.
Blatche finished the game with no points, three rebounds and one assist. He came in averaging 16.2 points and eight rebounds per game.
The injury to one of the club’s most productive offensive players is especially untimely considering Blatche’s ailing teammates. Last night the Wizards were without Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard, both starters at small forward this season, and swingman Cartier Martin, leaving a dearth at the No. 3 position.
That necessitated starting newcomer Maurice Evans, who had played just six games with the Wizards since arriving in a trade from Atlanta, at small forward and using rookie Trevor Booker there off the bench. Booker normally plays power forward.