A series of knee injuries has left the Bullets with only eight healthy bodies and uncertainty over who will be able to play by Thursday when the team begins a three-games-in-three-nights stretch against the Indiana Pacers at Capital Centre.
The latest knee victims are Austin Carr and Elvin Hayes. Carr's injury is the more serious. He had minor surgery yesterday to remove a cartilage chip from his right knee.
Stan Lavine, Bullet team physician who performed the operation, said Carr's availability will depend on how much his knee swells overnight.
It was an old injury that acted up after Saturday's loss in Chicago to the Bulls.
Hayes has a sore left knee and Lavine has advised him to stay off it at least until Wednesday.
Bob Dandridge has been sidelined with a strained cartilage in his right knee for almost a month. He has undergone a series of tests without success to determine when he will be able to play again. He is scheduled for another test today.
His availability has been on a day-to-day basis for the past two weeks. Dandridge has been able to practice only once in that period and hasn't suited up for a game since the injury.
Carr was acquired from Dallas Nov. 6 to replace John Williamson, who was put on the injured list with the flu and back spasms.
General Manager Bob Ferry said yesterday that the team hasn't decided yet whether to wait on Carr and Dandridge to heal or to add a player or two.
If either Carr or Dandridge is put on the injured list, he will have to miss a minimum of five games.Any replacement would have to be signed to at least a 10-day contract, which could be renewed once. If the Bullets want to keep any player they sign beyond 20 days, they would have to sign him for the remainder of the season.
If Carr is unable to play and the Bullets decide not to make a roster change, rookie Carlos Terry will become the backup shooting guard to Kevin Grevey and Mitch Kupchak would be used some at small forward, along with Terry to back up Greg Ballard, who is starting for Dandridge.
The National Basketball Association rules say a team must dress a mimimum of seven players for each game.
Coach Gene Shue, who doesn't believe in giving a team many days off from practice, said he is undecided just what he'll do since he doesn't even have enough bodies to scrimmage five on five.