Wizards’ Al Harrington experiences setback, expected to visit doctor

December 7, 2013
This is getting frustrating. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
This is getting frustrating. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Al Harrington’s troublesome right knee will probably keep him out a little longer after the veteran forward experienced a setback in his rehabilitation.

Sidelined the past 12 games, Harrington hasn’t played since scoring eight points in the Wizards’ 105-95 loss in Dallas on Nov. 12. He was working diligently, running on the treadmill and getting daily treatment in effort to make a speedy return. But Coach Randy Wittman said Harrington had a flareup on Saturday that will force him to make another visit with a doctor.

“We ramped him up here the last few days individually. He wanted to really push it,” Wittman said. “Then, he had some soreness. Irritation came back real fast. So, that’s a little bit of a setback there.”

The Wizards (9-10) signed Harrington last August after he was released by the Orlando Magic. Last season, Harrington played a career-low 10 games and had his lowest scoring (5.1 points) and rebounding (2.7 boards) averages since his rookie season in 1998, when he came straight from high school.

The 33-year-old Harrington had what he thought would be a routine surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in April 2012 but developed a staph infection that nearly ended his career.  Harrington lost nearly 30 pounds last summer during workouts in Las Vegas and was determined to prove that he had more left in the tank.

In seven games, Harrington averaged 7.9 points and shot 42.9 percent from long distance in the role as stretch power forward. Harrington scored in double digits in three consecutive games against Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Oklahoma City, contributing a season-high 15 points in an overtime win over the Nets. After scoring 11 on the road against the Thunder, Harrington acknowledged that he almost didn’t play because of problems in the knee. He played the next game against Dallas but hasn’t been back.

The Wizards are also without Bradley Beal with a stress injury in his right fibula. Beal will be re-evaluated this week. On Friday, Martell Webster aggravated a sprained left ankle that he suffered on Oct. 17 in Lexington, Ky., and Nene aggravated the right Achilles’ injury. Webster will attempt to play on Monday against Denver but Nene is questionable. Kevin Seraphin missed Friday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks after developing some swelling in his right knee. He was uncertain when he will able to return.

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee · December 7, 2013