Washington Wizards forward Jared Dudley underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and is expected to return in approximately three to four months, the team announced Tuesday evening.
In a statement, Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld said Washington knew that Dudley played through back pain last season with the Milwaukee Bucks before the Wizards decided to acquire him for a protected future second-round pick earlier this month. Dudley, who is with his fourth team in four seasons, missed four games last season because of back pain.
“During our discussions with Jared and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, we were made aware that he played with pain for a significant part of last season due to this injury,” Grunfeld said. “After jointly consulting with our team doctors and several specialists, we collectively determined that this proactive approach was the best course of action to have him ready for the upcoming season and to prevent the risk of further injury.”
Dr. Drew Dossett executed the procedure in Dallas on Dudley, who celebrated his 30th birthday last week. The eight-year veteran was brought in to help replace Paul Pierce and as a stretch-four option for the Wizards, who made becoming more versatile a priority this summer.
Dudley averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Bucks last season, playing power forward the majority of his minutes for the first time in his career. He shot 46.8 percent from the field, including 38.5 percent from beyond the three-point line in 72 games. He’s a career 39.6 percent three-point shooter.
The three-to-four month timetable for recovery estimate means Dudley could be ready to return to game action right around the start of the regular season. Getting the surgery out of the way now rather than waiting should help Dudley avoid missing a larger chunk of the schedule.
If Dudley does have to miss time, the Wizards believe they have the depth to cover his absence with Otto Porter Jr., Alan Anderson and Martell Webster.
“Although I’m disappointed that I won’t be on the floor with my new teammates for the start of training camp, I’m confident that having this surgery now will allow me to perform at my best and contribute throughout the season,” Dudley said. “I appreciate the patience and support of the organization and I can assure my teammates and the fans that I will work extremely hard to be on the floor as soon as possible.”