Webber considers season-ending surgery May decide on shoulder today, based on MRI

January 29, 1996|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

In a season when Washington Bullets forward Chris Webber has been in and out of the lineup while recovering from a separated left shoulder, teammate Juwan Howard was asked last week whether the lineup changes were disruptive to the team's offense.

"Yeah, we have to make adjustments," Howard said. "But I love playing alongside Chris Webber, and I can't wait to get him back."

There's a chance Webber won't return at all this season, with his agent confirming yesterday that the third-year forward might make a decision today to have surgery on his shoulder that would end his season.

Webber's decision will be based on the reading of an MRI exam conducted on Saturday. Webber, who has missed the past two games after complaining of soreness in the shoulder that he has dislocated twice in the past 13 months, has missed the team's past three games.

"He could be leaning that way," Webber's agent, Fallasha Erwin, said yesterday of the possible surgery. "It all depends on the test results."

Ever since Webber dislocated his shoulder for the second time, in a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers, he realized that surgery to correct the ailment was inevitable.

Webber opted not to have the surgery right away, hoping that he could somehow get through the season and help the team in TC playoff run. Washington (21-21) is 9-6 with Webber in the lineup.

Erwin said Webber had considered a new laser technique that could have had him back in action as soon as six weeks. But the long-term effects of the surgery were unknown, and Erwin said that is no longer under consideration.

The second shoulder dislocation of Webber's career occurred during the preseason, and he started the season on the injured list, missing the first 11 games. He underwent a strenuous rehabilitation regimen and returned Dec. 27, scoring 40 against Golden State.

But Webber was injured in his next game, against the New York Knicks, when he fell on the injured shoulder. It was diagnosed as a strain, and Webber missed 10 games. He has played in just two games since returning on Jan. 19 against the New Jersey Nets.

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