Rashard Lewis will leave for New York on Thursday to meet with another specialist and receive a third opinion on the sore right knee that has kept him sidelined for the past five games. After Lewis returned last week from Houston, where he got a second opinion, he determined that he would only have surgery as a final option.

“I’m going to try to avoid the surgery,” said Lewis, who mentioned it as a possibility nearly two weeks ago.

The specialist in New York is expected to review tests from Wizards team doctors and his own doctor in Houston, who advised Lewis to have a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection to encourage more natural healing in the troublesome quad tendon above his right knee. Lewis has had cortisone shots at different times this season, but “I was still having pain in my knees.”

Lewis said his doctor in Houston “thinks I should try the PRP shot, instead of having the scope. Just because of the fact, I don’t need it. Even though it’s a minor surgery, once you go into the knee, you don’t know how it’s going to be, how it’s going to react.”

No matter what decision is made after his New York visit, Lewis is unlikely to return this season. Lewis, acquired on Dec. 18 in exchange for Gilbert Arenas, is averaging just 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in 32 games with the Wizards. A PRP injection, which Josh Howard had earlier this season, would force him to sit out at least another two weeks and require more time for rehabilitation.

“I don’t even know how many games we’d have left,” said Lewis,who is averaging 11.7 points overall with Orlando and Washington, his worst season since his second in Seattle. “I’ll get the PRP. If that doesn’t help, we’ll have to clean it out [with surgery] at the end of the season, and then I’ll have to sit out about six weeks, and I have a lot of time to work out in the summer. I really just want to be ready for training camp, whether we have a lockout or not. I just want to be 100 percent, so I can play my game and help this team.”

Andray Blatche had another MRI on Wednesday in Chicago to see how his sprained right shoulder is progressing. He is still listed as day-to-day but that day could still be some time away since he continues to have limited mobility in the arm. Blatche can lift his arm forward, but he cannot put it above his head from the side.

“It’s not good. I can lift it, but I can’t shoot at all. I can barely bounce a ball,” said Blatche, who has missed the past three games. “They haven’t given me [a timetable] yet. It all depends on how it heals. We haven’t been able to get it to heal.”

Blatche said he didn’t think the injury was serious when it initially happened and is anxious to return. “I can’t wait to get out there. I love the game of basketball. At the same time, I’m not going to go out there at 50, 60 percent and hurt my team again. I thought I hurt it like I hurt it before and it would be something minor. I thought they could massage it and I’d go back out. But this was worst than the first time I did it. Now it’s a lot of opportunities for guys to step up and get some game-time minutes, improve.”