Rashard Lewis hasn’t played since returning from the all-star break, and he finally explained why. After dealing with soreness in his right knee since arriving from Orlando in the Gilbert Arenas deal, Lewis is now having complications with his left knee after sustaining an injury against Sacramento.
Lewis said he went up for a rebound in the Wizards’ last game before the all-star break and feeling pain in his knee for the rest of the game. He thought the six days away from basketball would’ve been enough for him to recover, and even got dressed in anticipation of playing against Milwaukee.
“The pain just wouldn’t go away,” Lewis said, adding that his “right knee feels fine. . . . This is different this time. It’s not the tendon, it’s not what was bothering me last season.”
An MRI taken last week revealed a bone bruise underneath the kneecap, which Lewis blamed for his discomfort. Lewis said he got a Synvisc shot – an injection commonly used to alleviate arthritic symptoms – in his left knee on Monday. Synvisc injections are usually doled out in doses of three, but Lewis wasn’t certain that he would need all of them before returning to the court.
“Doctor says we’ll see how it feels again next week, but, hopefully, I’ll be playing before next week,” Lewis said. “It’s nothing damaging that I have to have surgery, just something I guess will just have to get better with rest.”
Lewis, the NBA’s second-highest paid player this season behind Kobe Bryant, is having his worst statistical season since his rookie year. He is averaging just 7.8 points and shooting 38.5 percent from the floor and 23.9 percent from the three-point line. He has missed nine games because of injuries this season and will not be available when the Wizards host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday at Verizon Center.
Coach Randy Wittman said Lewis is “day-to-day. There’s been some improvement, but he’s still in a situation where he’s got some soreness, too.”
With his $21 million salary this season, the Wizards likely won’t find any takers for his contract. He is also a potential amnesty candidate, but he could be bought out of the final year of his deal for $13.7 million after reaching several necessary contract incentives as a member of the Orlando Magic.