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Wizards' Stevenson Hopes to Avoid Back Surgery

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By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ORLANDO, Jan. 6 -- Guard DeShawn Stevenson missed his third straight game Tuesday night at Orlando with pain in his lower back but will receive a shot Wednesday with the hope that it will reduce pressure on a nerve that has been causing the discomfort.

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"It's just a matter of trying to get to the point where I can move without having that shooting pain go down my leg," said Stevenson, who began experiencing problems during training camp. "As long as I don't have to hear anything about surgery, I'm cool. I don't want that."

Stevenson said he has sought the advice of teammate Darius Songaila, who tried to play through a similar issue during the summer of 2006 while representing the Lithuanian national team.

Songaila missed training camp, the preseason and the first 45 games of his first regular season as a Wizard after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back.

· RAPTORS NEXT: The Wizards host Toronto (14-21) on Wednesday night at Verizon Center. Toronto had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 107-97 loss at Milwaukee on Monday night and has been without point guard José Calderón (hamstring) and center Jermaine O'Neal (right knee contusion).

Like the Wizards, the Raptors have struggled to close out games. Monday's game was the eighth time this season the Raptors have lost after a lead of 10 points or larger. . . .

The Wizards are 0-6 in the second game of a back-to-back while Toronto is 3-4.

Up Next: Wednesday vs. Toronto 7 p.m. CSN+, WTEM-980

Friday at Chicago 8:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980


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