What new misfortune can befall the Washington Bullets?
That is what coach Wes Unseld was wondering after injuries and illnesses left him with six able-bodied players in the second half of Sunday's 119-101 loss to the Celtics at Boston Garden.
The Bullets survived the biggest scare. All-Star forward Bernard King left the game on a stretcher, hyperventilating and indicating an irregular heartbeat.
But after being examined in Massachusetts General's emergency room, his ailment was diagnosed as an allergic reaction to medication. King accompanied the Bullets on the plane trip home Sunday evening and will participate in today's practice at Bowie State.
That was the only really positive news the Bullets had to offer concerning their mounting injury list.
OC It is expected that point guard Haywoode Workman will join back
court partner Darrell Walker (sprained knee) on the injured list before tomorrow night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers at The Spectrum.
Workman, who sat out the Celtics game with a severely pulled groin muscle, was examined by team doctors yesterday and advised to sit out a week to 10 days. This means the free agent, who had earned a starting job, would be sidelined for the Bullets' three-game swing through Texas after this weekend's All-Star break.
Unseld and general manager John Nash worked yesterday to find an emergency backcourt replacement in time for the 76ers game. With flu-stricken Ledell Eackles missing the past two games, Unseld was left with only two healthy guards -- Byron Irvin and rookie A.J. English, neither of whom is a proven playmaker.
Nash was scanning the Continental Basketball Association rosters, particularly that of the Albany Patroons, with whom Washington has a working agreement. Among the possible pickups are Mario Elie, who was averaging 23.9 points, Vincent Askew, who flunked a previous trial with Washington, and Albert King, the former Maryland star and Bernard's younger brother.
The Bullets apparently expressed interest in obtaining Clifford Lett, a Florida alumnus who was impressive in their early summer training camp. But Lett, who was averaging 27.2 points for the Pensacola Tornados in the CBA, was signed yesterday by the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs needed a replacement for point guard Rod Strickland, who broke a bone in his right hand in a San Antonio bar fracas early Saturday morning.
Washington should be able to dress the league minimum of eight players tomorrow night.
Eackles has recovered from the flu and is expected to play tomorrow. Forward Mark Alarie, who suffered a laceration of his right eye in the game against the New York Knicks last Thursday, also has been cleared by doctors to return to action.
Center Charles Jones and center/forward Pervis Ellison are questionable. Jones missed the Celtics game with a hamstring pull. Ellison aggravated his sore back; he has been nursing it since Tuesday.
Because of his depleted squad, Unseld was forced to use forwards King and Tom Hammonds in the backcourt.
Unseld has resisted the temptation to reactivate veteran forward John Williams, who has received medical clearance after rehabilitating his right knee and reducing his weight to 260 pounds.
"I'm still not satisfied he's ready to play competitively," said Unseld. "All of these injuries won't influence my decision when to reactivate him."
Here is an update on the Bullets' health status:
* Darrell Walker, guard, on injured list, expected to miss three weeks with a sprained right knee.
* Haywoode Workman, guard, expected to be placed on injured list today with a severely pulled groin muscle. Will miss a minimum of five games.
* Mark Alarie, forward, cleared to play after suffering a laceration of the right eye in New York Thursday night and missing the past two games.
* Charles Jones, center, considered "day-to-day" with a hamstring pull that kept him out of the game in Boston.
* Pervis Ellison, center/forward, considered "day-to-day" with an aching back.
* Ledell Eackles, guard, cleared to play after missing the past two games with flu.
* Bernard King, forward, cleared to play after an allergic reaction caused hyperventilating and irregular heartbeat in the Boston game Sunday. He underwent examination in the Massachusetts General emergency room and was allowed to accompany the team home.