WASHINGTON - Wizards starting center Brendan Haywood could miss the entire season while recovering from surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist.
He had the operation in New York and will spend 2½ months in a cast before starting rehabilitation. The team said Haywood will be out four to six months.
Washington’s last regular-season game is six months away: April 15 against the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics.
Haywood was hurt Oct. 2 during training camp, and the Wizards wouldn’t say until Thursday how long they expected him to be sidelined. He averaged career highs of 10.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2007-08, helping the Wizards reach the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
With Haywood out, the Wizards probably will rely on a mix of players in the middle, including veteran center Etan Thomas, fourth-year player Andray Blatche and first-round draft choice JaVale McGee.
Thomas split starting duties with Haywood in 2006-07, when they scuffled more than once away from the court. But Thomas missed all of last season after having open-heart surgery, and Haywood took over the job.
Haywood’s is only one injury Washington will try to overcome this season. First and foremost, of course, is All-Star point guard Gilbert Arenas, who has had three knee operations in the past 1½ years and has said he figures he will be out until December or January.
In addition, All-Star forward Antawn Jamison and guards Antonio Daniels, Nick Young and Juan Dixon sat out the Wizards’ exhibition loss to the New Orleans Hornets in Berlin on Tuesday, although all Jamison, Daniels and Dixon might be available when the teams play another preseason game Friday in Barcelona.
Jamison, who has a bruised knee, is expected to be ready for the regular season.
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