Washington Bullet forward Bobby Dandridge, sidelined almost half of last season with a variety of ailments and injuries, will undergo surgery next week to correct a compressed nerve in his right leg.
In another development, Coach Gene Shue said guard Larry Wright was part of the trade by which the Bullets acquired second-round draft choice Jeff Ruland from Golden State last spring.
Dandridge said he hoped "this will clear up the problems I was having last year as far as my right leg is concerned."
A standout on the Bullets since his acquisition from Milwaukee in 1977, Dandridge missed 39 of 84 games last season. His absence was considered a major factor in the team's declining performance and subsequent elimination in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs.
Dandridge said he has no "sure guarantees" that the surgery will clear up all his physical problems, but "I hope to be back playing basketball next year." At 32, and a veteran of 10 years in the NBA, Dandridge had voiced concern that his basketball career might be over.
He hurt his foot in last season opener, then was troubled by a stiff neck, a bad back and a sore knee. As the season drew to a close, what had been thought to have been a pulled calf muscle was diagnosed as calcium behind the knee.
Throughout the year, there were murmurings around Capital Centre that the injuries were not serious enough to keep Dandridge from playing.
Dandridge was reluctant yesterday to discuss details of the operation, and he would not name the hospital at which it would be done.
"I don't want to go into it. I'm not giving interviews," he said.
Dandridge did say that after the season a further battery of tests finally identified his problem as a compressed nerve low in his leg. The operation will require only an overnight stay in the hospital, he said.
A first-round draft pick from Grambling in 1976, Wright who had starred at Washington's Western High School, became expendable to the Bullets after this year's draft.
The Bullets' first pick was guard Wes Matthews of Wisconsin. And, with another playmaking guard, Kevin Porter, already signed, it appeared then that Wright, a free agent, would be going elsewhere.
John Bach, assistant coach at Golden State, said he understood officials of that organization had been talking with Wright, but that nothing had been signed yet.