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Jamison Has Tendinitis in Knee; Sidelined Tonight

By Greg Sandoval
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 8, 2005; Page D01

Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison has tendinitis in his right knee and will miss tonight's game against the New York Knicks.

Jamison, a key figure in the Wizards' turnaround this season, underwent an MRI exam yesterday that revealed no structural damage to the knee, said Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld, who added that he doesn't expect Jamison to be out long.

Antawn Jamison is expected to miss Tuesday's game in New York. The team doesn't expect Jamison to be out long. (Jonathan Newton - The Washington Post)

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"I'm encouraged by the news that I received from our doctors," Jamison said in a statement. "I'm confident that my teammates will step up in my absence like they did the other night in Charlotte. I'm going to use this week to rest and rehabilitate my knee."

After tonight, the Wizards are off until Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics.

Center Etan Thomas did not travel to New York; he missed the past two games with the flu .

On Saturday, Jamison was pulled out of the Wizards' 86-84 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in the third quarter. He departed with just two points and seven rebounds. His averages this season are 20 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Missing the Knicks game will end Jamison's string of consecutive games played at 386, which was the longest active streak in the NBA. He last missed a game on April 19, 2000, when he was a member of the Golden State Warriors.

This is the time of year when NBA franchises begin to feel the aches and pains of an 82-game season, Grunfeld said. The Wizards are as beat up as anybody.

Last week, the club announced that swingman Jarvis Hayes will miss four to six weeks with a broken right kneecap. He joins Thomas, Larry Hughes, Kwame Brown, Steve Blake and Juan Dixon as Wizards who have spent time on the injured-reserve list this season. Guard Gilbert Arenas, the club's leading scorer, complained about a sore knee over the weekend, but it is not expected to force him out of the lineup, Grunfeld said.

"Man, it's like the Wizards are cursed or something," cracked center Brendan Haywood. "Every year I've been here there has been major injuries. . . . So it's nothing new."

What is new this season is that the Wizards have a shot at making the playoffs. Those healthy enough to compete must shoulder the club's postseason hopes. Reserve swingman Laron Profit, who tipped in the game-winner against the Bobcats on Saturday, is among those determined to take up the slack.

"We got to go with what we got," Profit said. "Everybody in the whole league is hurting right now."

Wizards Note: The last three games have vindicated Haywood -- or so he says.

A month ago, Haywood blamed a drop in production on the loss of Hughes, who had broken his thumb during a Jan. 15 game against the Suns. Haywood claimed that nobody on the team was better than Hughes at finding him in scoring position.

Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan saw things differently. "Larry Hughes is not going to put a chair under [Haywood's] legs so he can block a shot coming down the lane," Jordan said. "He's got to do it himself."

But in the three games since Hughes has returned, Haywood has matched his season high in points (22), and also grabbed more than 10 rebounds (11) and blocked more than two shots (4) in a game for the first time since Jan. 22.

"I told you I played good when Larry Hughes is in the lineup," Haywood said. "I think Larry coming back definitely has helped me because he really looks for me when he drives to the basket. He encourages me to post up and get the ball and make something happen."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company