Nick Young will be out with a bone bruise in his left knee as the Wizards open their five-game West coast trip in Portland on Tuesday. Young said he would still be “questionable” on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Wizards are hoping that he will be available for that game.
“He has a tendency to play well in LA,” Coach Flip Saunders said of Young, the Southern California alum and Los Angeles native. “We’ll have to see how he does.”
Young said he has been playing with soreness in his left knee for much of the second half of the season, but got bumped in the leg while scoring 31 points against the Golden State Warriors and hasn’t been the same since. He sat out the next game against Minnesota and returned for four games, averaging just 14.3 points and shooting 37.1 percent (23 for 62) over that stretch before deciding to rest.
“I want to play [against the Clippers], but you never know. It’s a bone bruise and it’s in a tender area, where my nerves and stuff are,” Young said. “In the Golden State game, it got hit a little too hard, harder than normal and it’s been aching me ever since. I tried to play on it the last couple of games, but I just couldn’t do it. I know my teammates need me. And I don’t want them to think I’m quitting on them or anything. That’s why I’m on the trip. I’m trying to get back as soon as possible.”
Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard all stayed behind when the team left Washington on Sunday, but Saunders said that Blatche has been getting better could join the team on the tail end. Blatche, the Wizards’ second-leading scorer, has missed the past five games after suffering sprained right shoulder in a loss to Milwaukee on March 8.
Saunders said Blatche could be back for “possibly even Denver” on Friday. “Dray, he’s made some progress. There is a chance he might join us in the back part of the trip. We’ll see. He’s made a lot of improvement in the last day and a half.”