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Bad news for Butler

The Wizards announced earlier tonight that injured forward Caron Butler has a small labral tear of his left hip joint. Butler has missed 10 straight games and 13 games on the season with what had been calling a strained left hip flexor. He did not make the current three-game trip.

Clearly, he hasn't been right since he originally hurt the hip in a loss at Milwaukee on Jan. 27 (he was a monster that night, scoring a career-high 40 points). He missed the next three games, then returned for a game against the Lakers on Feb. 3 but aggravated the injury two days later at Philly and hasn't played since.

I can't shed a lot of light on this because Caron has not been on the trip and I haven't hand a chance to speak with him but today's news doesn't shock me because he clearly has been hurting and was getting frustrated that things weren't getting better. Butler certainly won't play Friday night here in Chicago for Sunday against New Orleans and will be evaluated next week.

Looking back, it's worth speculation whether Caron should have come back for that Lakers' game. Now, what we don't know is just how badly he re-injured the hip at Philly two days later. The way he reacted, and I was watching him when he pulled up while running before yanking himself from the game before limping to the locker room, my guess was that he hurt it far worse than in the Milwaukee game.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 27, 2008; 11:44 PM ET
 
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Comments

while bad news but eventhough he is hurt him and gilbert trust me these guys love the gym sometime this year they will come back and i think the wizards will be ok.

Posted by: brandon | February 27, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Such optimism is a rare thing Brandon. I'd like to hope you're right, but I can't see it.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Sad! Butler is the heart and soul of this team.

Posted by: Rob P | February 28, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Take the time to really heal, Caron.

A professional sports career, like life itself, is a journey and not a windsprint.

I expect to be watching you with pleasure long into my retrirement years (turning 65 next month).

Posted by: khrabb | February 28, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Big uh oh. Let's hope "partial" adds some ameliorative nuance to this.
Some quick googling, (cut and paste to follow); may or may not be applicable but suggests a possible season ending injury. If so that's a wrap on the playoff season for the Wiz, unless you believe in miracles. They may hobble into the first round but without a successful session at Lourdes, Butler and thus the Wiz will gimp off stage into the sunset. All that is left friends, if that is so, is the continuing Arenas saga, parachutes and trampolines, detractors and advocates debating his merits and tradability, the development of the rooks and Blatche (could be fun to watch), Abe and Eddie bashing, etc.

"The socket of the hip joint that the thigh bone sits in is called the acetabulum. This is lined by a layer of cartilage called the labrum. The labrum supplies cushioning and support for the hip joint. A tear can occur in the labrum and is also known as a hip labral tear or acetabular labral tear. Causes:
* Trauma such as traffic accidents, collisions and bad falls.
* Twisting on a hip that has a lot of weight on it.
* Repetitive strain on the hip for example in golfers.

Treatment usually requires surgery.
If left the injury could degenerate into a worn hip joint."

"Acetabular labral tears are a rare but well recognized cause of hip symptoms in young adults. Both clinical and radiographic diagnoses are difficult. The treatment of choice in the past has been either conservative or open arthrotomy. Hip arthroscopy has proved to be an effective tool for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in patients with chronic hip pain refractory to conservative treatment."

Posted by: myshkin | February 28, 2008 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Kornheiser has been right all along. This team seems cursed. If it isn't Gheorghe 's foot or Webber's blunt or Mark Price's foot, something is always going wrong with this team. Changing the name hasn't helped.
Well, we should definitely shut CB down until it's 100% and if it's season ending surgery, then that's what it is. If GA does indeed come back healthy, we still have 2 all stars on this team and should be able to make some noise anyway. That's the only way to put a positive spin on this.

Posted by: mark | February 28, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I knew that the injury was more than what was first reported. It just seemed to me that he wasn't getting better. I hate to hear the news though. Anyone know the true severity of an injury like this and will he really be able to come back this season?
I am also curious as to why they are just finding this out. Was he not evaluated when he went down the first time with this injury? And if so, why was he allowed to continue to play? I wouldn't necessarily say the team is cursed, it just seems to me that the injuries that are sustained aren't being treated properly at the onset. Just my opinion.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Butler played 51 minutes in the Milwaukee game, including overtime. He was injured before overtime. He played 41 minutes the game before against Memphis, and appeared to be harboring an injury.

There is no curse. Eddie likes to play them hurt. He's been quoted to say that the great ones find a way to play through injuries. However, he has nothing to show for this philosophy except players on IR and a sub .500 record.

Let the rooks play and get the Big 3 healthy for the playoffs.

Posted by: Izman | February 28, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree Izman. The next one down if they aren't careful is going to be Deshawn Stevenson. He has been playing on a gimpy knee all season. Or at least that is what they have been saying. They should have added another player at some point during the season. I don't know, there just seem to be some sort of disconnect with this organization. Don't get me wrong, I am diehard Wiz fan but sometimes it is not the easiest thing to do. Now Caron is down for God knows how long and let's not forget Gil.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh, so they're just finding this out now, after 10 games and two weeks? Like no one on the medical staff ever thought to say, "Well, yeah, it could be a strain, but let's take a closer look just to make sure that's all it is"?

Good lord, who's running the Wizards' medical staff?

Posted by: Jimmie | February 28, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I am also curious as to why they are just finding this out. Was he not evaluated when he went down the first time with this injury? And if so, why was he allowed to continue to play? I wouldn't necessarily say the team is cursed, it just seems to me that the injuries that are sustained aren't being treated properly at the onset. Just my opinion.

This reminds me so much of the situation with Arenas. Again, having a player play with an injury which should have been detected. I doubt that Gil will or even should come back if Caron is out for the season. Bring on the Rooks.

Posted by: browneri | February 28, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Our medical staff is awful and our front office is too cheap to bring in players.

Gil & Caron should sit and let's get a lottery pick...

Posted by: Soup's Uncle | February 28, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone see gilbert rushing back to court with butler out? maybe at some point this season he'll feel 100%, but I have to think the long-term nature of butler's injury (and how long-term i suppose we really don't know) will have to make gilbert think twice about possibly packing it in, and making sure he's good to go next year.

That would be too bad. The big-three playing together in the playoffs would've been SICK. Maybe it'll still happen, but the only upside is some of the young guys are getting some valuable PT right now.

I have to agree that there's something really wrong with either the medical staff or the coaching staff in how they've handled injuries this year. They need to get their medical operations in order. You can't win a championship without a healthy team.

Posted by: but what do I know? | February 28, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Caron is the MVP on this team. Get well soon. Take the rest of the season off if you have to. Les BouleS are done anyway.

BTW, with this news, I can't see why Gilby should come back either. There would be just too much pressure for Gilby to step up, which could hurt him during free agency.

Now, the question is whether Abe is going to continue to hold the fort and not bring any more players in so that he can collect that 5 mil lux tax welfare.

Lottery, here we come.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I have always thought the constant negative posts about the Wizards "Medical Staff" were just frustrated fans wanting to find meaning in seemingly random and non-related injuries to the team's players.

But from Arenas' 'dislocated clavicle', to Thomas' heart problem, to Pecherov's "sprained ankle" - and now Butler's "strained hip flexor" - there seems to be a relationship there --- Misdiagnosis, followed by days or weeks of improper treatment, followed by the eventual correct diagnosis.

Ivan - Do the Wizards actually have a "Medical Staff"? If so, what are the details? Is there a Staff Doctor? or just a Team Trainer?

Posted by: Rook | February 28, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

To Rob P: I am the "fool" who has said fire EG and here is why,EJ has gotten more out of this team than any coach could have, yet he has gotten no help from his GM just yesterday the first place CELTICS went out and signed PJ BROWN while Brown may not be an offensive force he plays D and is a good rebounder(think he might help?) trading deadline? no deals whatsoever even though we have two number one picks, hell Ray Charles could have made a trade to help this shorthanded team signed Darius Songalia to a long term contract who until recently, has been injured most of last year and ineffective this season. Pecherov a seven footer who shoots three's and plays no defense, and oh yeah he was injured too,EG was in NY and Milwaukee worked out well for him there ya think? Rob P I don't how long you've been watching basketball but it appears you ain't got a clue about coaching in the NBA.I'm out!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 28, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

To Rob P: I am the "fool" who has said fire EG and here is why,EJ has gotten more out of this team than any coach could have, yet he has gotten no help from his GM just yesterday the first place CELTICS went out and signed PJ BROWN while Brown may not be an offensive force he plays D and is a good rebounder(think he might help?) trading deadline? no deals whatsoever even though we have two number one picks, hell Ray Charles could have made a trade to help this shorthanded team signed Darius Songalia to a long term contract who until recently, has been injured most of last year and ineffective this season. Pecherov a seven footer who shoots three's and plays no defense, and oh yeah he was injured too,EG was in NY and Milwaukee worked out well for him there ya think? Rob P I don't how long you've been watching basketball but it appears you ain't got a clue about coaching in the NBA.I'm out!!!!!.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 28, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"I have always thought the constant negative posts about the Wizards "Medical Staff" were just frustrated fans wanting to find meaning in seemingly random and non-related injuries to the team's players.

But from Arenas' 'dislocated clavicle', to Thomas' heart problem, to Pecherov's "sprained ankle" - and now Butler's "strained hip flexor" - there seems to be a relationship there --- Misdiagnosis, followed by days or weeks of improper treatment, followed by the eventual correct diagnosis.

Ivan - Do the Wizards actually have a "Medical Staff"? If so, what are the details? Is there a Staff Doctor? or just a Team Trainer?

Posted by: Rook | February 28, 2008 09:10 AM "

Don't forget how Gilby's "partially torn MCL" blossomed into a "malformed bone/tendon" that required microfracture surgery.

Caron's injury happened about 3 weeks ago, and they finally found a tear? If the medical staff had been on their game, they should have found it immediately and prevented further damage. I personally cannot fault the trainers, because they are not medical doctors, but the medical staff has a bad track record.

Also, this team playing undermanned, as I said early this season, has had a huge impact on the physical health of these players. AD, Caron, DS, etc.

To add to all this stuff, maybe the medical staff misdiagnosed DSong also. It was about 3 weeks ago when EJ was quoted as saying they are waiting for DSong to get his legs back. Huh? DSong played for Lithuania during the summer, was at camp, and was not out for any injury time this year, and he still looks sluggish.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Today's news about Caron is sad and bad. Therefore, I want to lighten up the mood with some comedy:

"A lot of people want to separate us from Mr. Snyder," Robiskie said. "Mr. Snyder owns the football team. I know that. I promise you there's very few things in the building I'm going to say I want to change without calling him to say I want to change it.
"If I wanted to change my desk, I'm going to call him and say I want to change my desk. If I want to change quarterbacks, I'm going to call him and say, 'What do you think of me changing quarterbacks?' It's his football team. To try to separate it, we're wasting our time."
Snyder was not available for comment. His spokesman, Karl Swanson, said Robiskie "makes all football decisions, just as Norv did. He doesn't need to ask anybody's permission."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/news/2000/12/06/johnson_snyder_ap/

-------------------------------------------
"He's had some ailments but he just comes out every day," Jordan said of Stevenson, who has been playing on a sore knee but has started 223 consecutive games. "He's a warrior, man, a true warrior. His confidence is growing -- he's making threes -- he's just a true pro. This is a man's league and he is man. In the dictionary next to that word there is a picture of DeShawn Stevenson."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/25/AR2008022503221.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

There's obviously a pattern of the team playing guys who are hurt (Arenas, Butler, Daniels) and the medical staff misdiagnosing the severity of the injuries. It was obvious that Butler was still hurt when he came back for the Lakers game and the re-injured his hip in the Philly game. How long does it take the medical staff to do a thorough diagnosis to realize he had a tear in his labrum? I personally hope CB and GA don't come back until they are truly 100% even if the Wiz miss the playoffs. EG needs to step back and do a thorough review of both the coaching and medical staff for next year. He also needs to carefully consider how carrying a roster of only 10 healthy players contributed to Butler's injury as well as other lingering injuries. There were players who could have been brought into help but it appears Abe Pollin won't exceed the luxury tax even if it means risking injuries to his key players. There are some major organizational issues that go beyond when Gil and CB come back from their injuries. This season is done and now it's likely that Jamison and possibly Arenas will leave as free agents after the season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 28, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"There's obviously a pattern of the team playing guys who are hurt (Arenas, Butler, Daniels) and the medical staff misdiagnosing the severity of the injuries. It was obvious that Butler was still hurt when he came back for the Lakers game and the re-injured his hip in the Philly game. How long does it take the medical staff to do a thorough diagnosis to realize he had a tear in his labrum? I personally hope CB and GA don't come back until they are truly 100% even if the Wiz miss the playoffs. EG needs to step back and do a thorough review of both the coaching and medical staff for next year. He also needs to carefully consider how carrying a roster of only 10 healthy players contributed to Butler's injury as well as other lingering injuries. There were players who could have been brought into help but it appears Abe Pollin won't exceed the luxury tax even if it means risking injuries to his key players. There are some major organizational issues that go beyond when Gil and CB come back from their injuries. This season is done and now it's likely that Jamison and possibly Arenas will leave as free agents after the season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 28, 2008 09:23 AM "

Boy, I've been predicting all of the above since the beginning of the season when Gilby went out hurt.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

To add to all this stuff, maybe the medical staff misdiagnosed DSong also. It was about 3 weeks ago when EJ was quoted as saying they are waiting for DSong to get his legs back. Huh? DSong played for Lithuania during the summer, was at camp, and was not out for any injury time this year, and he still looks sluggish.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 09:21 AM


The only misdiagnosis they made on DSong was that he had talent... He looks sluggish because he is. He was the same at Wake Forest, but you know college can be kind to 6-9 guys who bang underneath. Or even 6-7 (Osby) for that matter...

Posted by: jones-y | February 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Here's another interesting thought:

If Les BouleS miss the playoffs and thus get a lottery pick, that means depending on how high they draft, that could directly affect whether Les BouleS resign Gilby or AJ.

This team could be overhauled if management decides to build on the current core, or if EG decides to remake the face of the team, via trades, to his liking.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"The only misdiagnosis they made on DSong was that he had talent... He looks sluggish because he is. He was the same at Wake Forest, but you know college can be kind to 6-9 guys who bang underneath. Or even 6-7 (Osby) for that matter...

Posted by: jones-y | February 28, 2008 09:39 AM "

Who do you blame for that? EG for signing him? It was probably a desperation move in light of them letting Jared Jeffries walk after he was drafted by the previous regime, and then either not developed or determined to be not that good after all.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

yes, this team's medical staff need to be questioned. I wouldnt come back if i were Gilbert to reinjure himself for a few games which will have no meaning. Get well for next season.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, just give it to us straight - is this a lost season, or what? And is Eddie Jordan getting another pass due to another injury-plagued season, or will they go in a different direction? I don't see how there is much to play for at this point. Even if they stumble into the playoffs as a low seed, they're facing a repeat of last year - a first round blow out since they'll most likely be showing up with an undermanned squad again.

Posted by: fading down the stretch | February 28, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Although I wish the team had been playing better this year, I really don't understand some of you "haters" on here. For most of this year, this team has played with two starters out. That's almost 50 ppg missing. What do you really expect when that happens? Then, I constantly read comments about the rest of the team. Players that are being asked to fill roles that they were never intended to fill or be in. I call it the "Kwame Brown Syndrome". Having expectations placed on a player above what their abilities are. Then everyone wants to crititze a coach who is trying to make the most out of this mess and a GM for not making moves to acquire players. It's not like we just need a player or two to get over the hump and win the championship. We have key guys that will be free agents and could be gone. Until you know what is going on with GA, AJ and RM, I don't think you can make a move.

Everyone has their right to critiize, but I don't think many folks are looking at this whole year objectively.

I hope I expressed myself and you understand what I am trying to say here.

Posted by: Section101 | February 28, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Another misdiagnosis by the Wizards' medical staff.

This team is not "cursed" as Kornheiser says. It just has poor medical care.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Ivan......Can we get a quote from the Trainer/Medical Staff. I mean what the hell is going on down there. First they let Gil overwork and re injure his knee. Then they have Caron skipping games and going hard in practice to get sore and more injured. It took them a month??? to figure this out.

Posted by: LooseCannon | February 28, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Point blank question for Ivan (maybe he can pass it on to EG): Do the Wizards have more misdiagnosed injuries than other teams? Yes or no, and why?

Posted by: mik_smith | February 28, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

With this bad news I'm now questioning myself if the Wiz will make it to the playoffs. How many good games did they have in the past 15 games? Bulls, 76ers and maybe Nets will likely overtake them. I guess both CB and Agent Zero should just rest so that they will be 100% ready for the next season and hopefully will have a new coach to get them to the next level.

Ooops, did I just say that? Oh no! I'll get spank by the old lady here.

Posted by: Dave, | February 28, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Here's a medical journal article on a case of a torn hip labrum in a soccer player. http://bjsm.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/37/1/84 As it notes, this sort of injury is difficult to diagnose and often initially mistaken for a muscular strain. It actually took doctors three tries to correctly diagnose the soccer player's injury, so the Wizards medical staff actually did a little better than they did.

The good news from the article is that arthoscopic surgery is effective in fixing the problem, and that a full recovery is possible. The bad news is that the post-surgical recovery time is 12 weeks, which means that CB is out for the rest of the season.

I don't see how CB's injury has anything to do with the prospects for retaining Jamison and/or Arenas next season. ESPN's Chad Ford reports that only Memphis ($12 mil) and Philly ($10 mil)are going to have enough cap room next year to go after free agents. Neither of them can afford to pay Arenas what he could get in Washington, plus the Wizards can offer him a six year deal and they can't. I don't see either of those teams going after Jamison. Good as he is, he's 32, and a rebuilding team wouldn't be smart to invest in somebody who may well be on the decline by the time that they start to get good.

Posted by: John Brisker | February 28, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Rent a Doctor
Take 2, call me tomorrow
He is fine Eddie

Posted by: Haiku | February 28, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Neither of them can afford to pay Arenas what he could get in Washington, plus the Wizards can offer him a six year deal and they can't. I don't see either of those teams going after Jamison. Good as he is, he's 32, and a rebuilding team wouldn't be smart to invest in somebody who may well be on the decline by the time that they start to get good.

Posted by: John Brisker | February 28, 2008 10:09 AM "

Hmmm, do you not recall Gilby's threat that he will take less money and leave if he has to?

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Here's a medical journal article on a case of a torn hip labrum in a soccer player. http://bjsm.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/37/1/84 As it notes, this sort of injury is difficult to diagnose and often initially mistaken for a muscular strain. It actually took doctors three tries to correctly diagnose the soccer player's injury, so the Wizards medical staff actually did a little better than they did.

Posted by: John Brisker | February 28, 2008 10:09 AM "

Keep in mind, that this medical journal and soccer situation is not the end all be all. It has not, nor is it, the standard.

Les BouleS are supposed to be a franchise in a world class organization, the NBA. The soccer diagnosis was performed and confirmed via a MRI.

Are MRI's hard to come by these days? Isn't there even a chop shop MRI place that advertises how anyone can pay a set amount and get one immediately? Didn't Jeff Bostic do a promo/commercial for this service?

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's another interesting thought:

If Les BouleS miss the playoffs and thus get a lottery pick, that means depending on how high they draft, that could directly affect whether Les BouleS resign Gilby or AJ.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 09:39 AM

Even with Caron and Gil out, this team would still have to completely tank to miss the playoffs. Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee and Indiana are pathetic. It's more than likely all going to end up like last season - with a sad first round drubbing. Then the very difficult decisions begin.

The Curse o' Les Boulez lives

Posted by: Kev | February 28, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

On a related note, the Skins retooled the training and rehab staff because of the rash of related injuries that they suffered this past year. Is it time for a shakeup on the Wiz staff? The misdiagnoses are a problem. I understand that they can't always tell immediately but there's a difference between a strain and a tear and an MRI can usually distinguish the difference immediately.
I used to hate reading about the 'curse of the boules' crap but bad luck seems to have followed us around.
lastly, I've brought this up a few times before but shouldn't uncle Abe bear some blame here? Again, with EJ on a short leash, there's a LOT of pressure for him to win now. This forces him to overplay his veteran players even though he knows that it's not good for the long term. If EJ was working on a longer term contract, he'd be more willing to rest his starters and play the youngsters because he has job security. A vote of confidence may have gone a long way toward heading this injury scenario off. I've been one of the main guys bashing EJ for his sub pattern and overplaying the stars but there's gotta be a reason he does what he does. The halflife for NBA coaches is short so you gotta win now. It's just the way it is, I guess.

Posted by: mark | February 28, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

My thought is it probably was correctly diagnosed as strained hip flexor when it 1st occured vs the bucks, then the partial tear happened vs lakers or philly due to coming back before it was healed.

Same as Arenas when he clearly wasn't right at start, then he suffered another tear. If the surrounding muscles are not properly healed, rested and restrengthened, that is when tears occur to tendons.

Eddie always plays guys off injuries ALOT of minutes which I don't get. I think I read somewhere where he was saying something to the effect that if a guy is suited up to play and available, then he is available to be used as if he is 100%. His job as coach is to use guys he has as the game dictates. Monitoring a players health is the job of the medical staff not the coaches.

He always plays Antawn too much, and the same thing happened when he had to have knee surgery a couple seasons ago after playing too much after a "strain". AD recently was diagnosed with some sort of partial tear in a knee ligament, came back and Eddie immediately played him like 35 minutes his 1st game back. We all thought Gil was playing too many minutes early this season. Even Jason Kidd said something about it.

At this point Butler should probably have surgery, and he and Gil should both just prepare for next season. Play the rookies!

Posted by: Darnell | February 28, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, John Brisker. We should just get CB the surgery and hope that we can back our way into the playoffs if GA can comes back at some point. I still think that if (big if) GA can come back and be himself within a couple of weeks, we can sneak into the playoffs and be a team that no one in the East wants to face. We still have 2 all stars, a good center and a couple of inconsistent but very talented youngsters (AB and NY). In addition, we have one of the best backup PG's in the league in AD, a 3 point veteran shooting SG off the bench in RM and a couple of veterans who've been through some playoff battles (DS and DS).
All it takes is some confidence and a little luck and we could still be good. Throw a 3 point shooting center in the mix (Pech) and we have some decent pieces. Don't count us out, yet. While I don't think we can win it all, as I did before the injuries, we can still make some noise. I think it all hinges on what GA can potentially give us. based on comments that I read from him, he's healthy but just needs to get conditioned. If that's the case, I'm encouraged.

Posted by: mark | February 28, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I said that we only need confidence and luck. Well, we also need to go back to the defensive mindset that we had earlier this year. We don't have the type of team that can draw fouls, so we have to tighten up defensively. We'll probably always have a foul line deficit with our top two 'prestige' guys out. That means we have to make up the difference in turnovers, defense, 3 point FG and FT%.
Hey, maybe we can go smallball. I hope Eddie thinks of this !!
Seriously, we may have to start bombing away like GS did to dallas. Have RM, DS, AJ, NY and anyone who can shoot a 3 take the shot whenever they are open. That shot is the equalizer. All it takes is for one guy to get hot and you have a chance,

Posted by: mark | February 28, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If you all don't stop this stupid curse of the balls crap, I'm going to look for a buyer in Kansas City to take the team away from you.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I think it is time for the Wizards to start playing some of the young guys more and hope that it works out enough nights to make the playoffs. EJ won't do it though because his job is on the line.

What does everyone think of this. I think EG will use the fact that Arenas and Butler were overused coming off injury as provocation to fire EJ when the season is over.

Posted by: George Templeton | February 28, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I had surgery on my torn labrum last spring. I originally tore it back in college when I was playing basketball for the school. The doctors misdiagnosed it as a sprained shoulder and they sat me for 4 weeks. It healed up enough for me to finish the season, but it was exceptionally painful. I re-injured/aggravated it while lifting weights in the off-season. After finding a doctor who finally did the right MRI, I had arthroscopic surgery. It took about 2-3 months of rehab to recover enough to do some ball-handling and light weightlifting. After about 5 months I was fully recovered.

Now that was the shoulder. Imagine the same for the hip which takes much more punishment. I don't see him making it through the season without surgery, and I don't see him fully recovering before mid-summer.

Shut it down Caron! Find the best orthopedic surgeon you can and focus on your rehab.

Posted by: surgery | February 28, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Few NBA players, including the ones who don't miss a game, make it through an entire season fully healthy. If a player tells a coach he's good to go, the coach is going to play him unless the player tells him otherwise. That's just how it is. Playing the bench more is a workable strategy if you've got a bench that can be trusted to produce in a bigger role. The Wizards really don't. Injuries happen, they're part of the game. Throughout the season, all players are battling bumps, bruises, and dings, many of which have the potential to become more serious. Goes with the territory. It's unfortunate when they blow up into something more serious, but it's a physical game.

Not everything that doesn't go according to plan has to be someone else's "fault." Sometimes sh*t happens.

Get well soon, Caron.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Although I wish the team had been playing better this year, I really don't understand some of you "haters" on here. For most of this year, this team has played with two starters out. That's almost 50 ppg missing. What do you really expect when that happens? Then, I constantly read comments about the rest of the team. Players that are being asked to fill roles that they were never intended to fill or be in. I call it the "Kwame Brown Syndrome". Having expectations placed on a player above what their abilities are. Then everyone wants to crititze a coach who is trying to make the most out of this mess and a GM for not making moves to acquire players. It's not like we just need a player or two to get over the hump and win the championship. We have key guys that will be free agents and could be gone. Until you know what is going on with GA, AJ and RM, I don't think you can make a move.

Everyone has their right to critiize, but I don't think many folks are looking at this whole year objectively.

I hope I expressed myself and you understand what I am trying to say here.

Posted by: Section101 | February 28, 2008 09:47 AM

A few do. Most won't (or will pretend like they don't).

Well said, BTW.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Krause was much criticized for his statement that "Players don't win championships. Organizations do."

The Wizards' medical team's failures year after year show that Krause was onto something. You can defend the Wizards' medical staff by saying, "Injuries happen," but flip the question around and explain why the Wizards' medical staff SHOULDN'T be replaced? What successes can they point to?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Even with Caron and Gil out, this team would still have to completely tank to miss the playoffs. Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee and Indiana are pathetic. It's more than likely all going to end up like last season - with a sad first round drubbing. Then the very difficult decisions begin.

The Curse o' Les Boulez lives

Posted by: Kev | February 28, 2008 10:21 AM "

What happened towards the end of last season when both Caron and Gilby were out? They almost missed the playoffs and made the playoffs because there were no more regular season games to play. Then, they were swept in the playoffs by a bored and uninterested Cleveland Cavaliers team, which is even better now with their recent trades.

It's time for EJ and DS to put up or shut up. Let's see if DS will disappear like he did during last season's playoffs, or live up to EJ's hype about him, or give his team more 2-12, 5 pt performances like the day after EJ's funny comments.

-------------------------------------------

"He's had some ailments but he just comes out every day," Jordan said of Stevenson, who has been playing on a sore knee but has started 223 consecutive games. "He's a warrior, man, a true warrior. His confidence is growing -- he's making threes -- he's just a true pro. This is a man's league and he is man. In the dictionary next to that word there is a picture of DeShawn Stevenson."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/25/AR2008022503221.htm

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

This breakdown was inevitable. Playing 40+ minutes a night for 1/2 the season will lead to injuries.

It is so frustrating to be a fan and watch the team play their hearts out and then start to fall apart from exhaustion, all the while playoff contenders around them are making moves to help their teams.

I think Abe Pollin is a terrific person and I am very greatful to him for moving the team downtown. He has done a great public service for DC.

However, I just don't know if he has the stomach to make the financial commitment it might take to build a champion. He talks a big game about it, but how much does he really want it?

I understand the luxury tax and all the revenue he could lose by going over it; but then again, how much revenue does he lose when the team goes on a 10 game losing streak? When people stop going to games? When the Wiz get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs?

Reality check: Abe is probably in the last decade (or two) of his life. He is not a wealthy owner by NBA standards, but he is no pauper. What is he saving his money for? Who cares if your net worth goes down if you really want to win a championship?

I am starting to question how badly he really wants to win it all - or if he just wants to win it all if he does not have to take chances with spending his money.

My perspective: Abe should suck it up and go over the salary cap and see if the Wizards can make a legitimate run for the title, this year or next. He might lose money in the short run, but the value of the franchise will go up, so his heirs will get by just fine.....

Posted by: Michael | February 28, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Who cares if your net worth goes down if you really want to win a championship?"

I'm thinking his heirs might care a little bit.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

THE WIZ MUST HAVE MEDIOCRE DOCTORS OR ABE IS SAVING MONEY BY CONTRACTING OUT THEIR MEDICAL CARE TO FAMILY MEMBERS WITH LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE. AREANAS CAME BACK TOO SOON AND TOO AGGRESSIVELY AND CARON SAT AROUND FOR TWO WEEKS WITHOUT A DIAGFNOSIS. THIS IS THE LAST STRAW. GET ME A SELFISH RICH OWNER WHO WANTS TO WIN EVEN IF IT COST MONEY [SIMILAR TO SYNDER].

Posted by: CHARLES | February 28, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

THE WIZ MUST HAVE MEDIOCRE DOCTORS OR ABE IS SAVING MONEY BY CONTRACTING OUT THEIR MEDICAL CARE TO FAMILY MEMBERS WITH LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE. AREANAS CAME BACK TOO SOON AND TOO AGGRESSIVELY AND CARON SAT AROUND FOR TWO WEEKS WITHOUT A DIAGFNOSIS. THIS IS THE LAST STRAW. GET ME A SELFISH RICH OWNER WHO WANTS TO WIN EVEN IF IT COST MONEY [SIMILAR TO SYNDER].

Amen to that!
Can't they afford an MRI?

Posted by: johnbear | February 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

As a die-hard fan you have a right to criticize a team especially it your team don't show any effort or a heart to play. I think I can speak for the 99% here. And that 1% criticize the fans who are criticizing the team they love and care. Go figure.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between criticism and assigning blame, especially when all the facts aren't (and can't) be known (and when some of the facts are ignored).

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

lastly, I've brought this up a few times before but shouldn't uncle Abe bear some blame here? Again, with EJ on a short leash, there's a LOT of pressure for him to win now. This forces him to overplay his veteran players even though he knows that it's not good for the long term. If EJ was working on a longer term contract, he'd be more willing to rest his starters and play the youngsters because he has job security. A vote of confidence may have gone a long way toward heading this injury scenario off. I've been one of the main guys bashing EJ for his sub pattern and overplaying the stars but there's gotta be a reason he does what he does. The halflife for NBA coaches is short so you gotta win now. It's just the way it is, I guess.


Posted by: mark | February 28, 2008 10:22 AM

Yo Mark. I 110% agree with you there. With everything, things start at the top. EG can not make pickup's or trades because of Abe's restrictions, EJ in turn can not field a team for practice because EG is not allowed to get him "extra players", the players suffer (Gil, CB and AJ) because they have to play extended minutes because EJ has to keep his job, and EG can not sign extra players.

This is a vicious cycle that ends up being more disappointment for us the fans. I have been trying to ask Ivan or Mike could they at least do a post or a story on Ted Leonis and his agreement with Abe on purchasing the Wizards.

I have been asking this question since last year, but they never write anything about it. We as fans deserve better from a team we support. Again, if Abe can not handle it, he needs to give the team up......!!!!!

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | February 28, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"THE WIZ MUST HAVE MEDIOCRE DOCTORS OR ABE IS SAVING MONEY BY CONTRACTING OUT THEIR MEDICAL CARE TO FAMILY MEMBERS WITH LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE. AREANAS CAME BACK TOO SOON AND TOO AGGRESSIVELY AND CARON SAT AROUND FOR TWO WEEKS WITHOUT A DIAGFNOSIS. THIS IS THE LAST STRAW. GET ME A SELFISH RICH OWNER WHO WANTS TO WIN EVEN IF IT COST MONEY [SIMILAR TO SYNDER].

Amen to that!
Can't they afford an MRI?

Posted by: johnbear | February 28, 2008 11:58 AM "

Speaking of which, I wonder if Abe still makes the team stay at his brother's no tell motel flea-bag chain when they play in Portland.

MJ put the kibosh on that when he was here, but nobody knows if this decision was reversed.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"I'm thinking his heirs might care a little bit.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 11:39 AM "

His heirs don't care, otherwise, they would be running the team.

When Abe decided to sell a stake to Leonsis along with a first right of refusal, he did it based on both his sons saying they were not interested in the bidness. One is some sort of philosophy professor, and another guy I don't know.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"His heirs don't care, otherwise, they would be running the team."

Just because they don't care about the team doesn't mean they don't care about the old man's money. In fact, given that they don't care about the team, it's reasonable to think they'd be pretty pissed off if the old man blew his stash on the team before they had a chance to get their hands on it.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Just because they don't care about the team doesn't mean they don't care about the old man's money. In fact, given that they don't care about the team, it's reasonable to think they'd be pretty pissed off if the old man blew his stash on the team before they had a chance to get their hands on it.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 12:34 PM "

If they cared so much, Abe should have sold during the team's peak, when MJ was playing and games were getting sold out, and celebrities were showing up, etc.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Just because they don't care about the team doesn't mean they don't care about the old man's money. In fact, given that they don't care about the team, it's reasonable to think they'd be pretty pissed off if the old man blew his stash on the team before they had a chance to get their hands on it.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 12:34 PM "

Abe's money was made in real estate and selling the caps. Therefore, there's no stash that's blown on Les BouleS until it's sold.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Therefore, there's no stash that's blown on Les BouleS until it's sold."

If there's a (for example) $10 mill luxury tax bill attached to the team when it's sold then that's ten mill less profit that his heirs will get. The more of the team's profits he sinks back into salary, the less profit there is to spend. So, again, they have ample reason to care if how much he spends on the team.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I heard he has a lot of money tied up in parachutes.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"If there's a (for example) $10 mill luxury tax bill attached to the team when it's sold then that's ten mill less profit that his heirs will get. The more of the team's profits he sinks back into salary, the less profit there is to spend. So, again, they have ample reason to care if how much he spends on the team.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 01:04 PM "

I doubt if they care. I didn't see any lawsuits by the sons when Abe agreed to give DC the Verizon Center down the line when DC gave him funds to spruce up the arena.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm 100% with Mark and Bullets Fever #1. EG and EJ's hands are tied by an owner who is not willing to go above the luxury tax to field the best team. Just heard on the radio that the owner of the Cavs Dan Gilbert okayed Danny Ferry putting them $6M over the cap to make trades to better his team! The Wiz wouldn't even pay for a 2nd 10-day contract to have Wilks available as a backup PG when AD was hurt. The Celtics who are over the luxury cap just went out and signed PJ Brown for depth. EG won't say it, but he's not allowed to sign any free agents like Brown or Magliore to provide some veteran depth. AJ must be counting down the days until he's a free agent and can sign with a true contender. Arenas will only stay here if the Wiz are committed to winning...having the ability to pay the highest salary won't make him sign to stay here long-term. Abe should step aside and sell the team if he can't afford to pay for the best team possible.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 28, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

wizfan89,

These are the parameters that the organization have set. It's Abe's way or the highway.

I said this last year and I'll say it again now: "You have to laugh, because otherwise, you'd cry."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

--------------------------------------------

"On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.htm

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between criticism and assigning blame, especially when all the facts aren't (and can't) be known (and when some of the facts are ignored).

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 12:12 PM

And I guess you know all the facts, right! You're sooooo! LOL

Posted by: Dave | February 28, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The Celtics and the Wizards are in dramaatically different situations. The Celtics have a legit shot to get to the Finals and win a title. The Wiz, even if they came into the season healthy and stayed that way, would still be a dark horse to win the East behind Detroit and Boston. Given their current status, spending more money isn't likely to help them much, because no one they could reasonable get is going to have a dramatic impact on their chances to win. The Celtics are a strong enough team that a relatively minor signing like Brown could pay big dividends. Unless they can get someone of significant impact capability (and no one like that is going to want to come here under the current circumstances) all they'd be paying that extra money for is a warm body.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"I doubt if they care. I didn't see any lawsuits by the sons when Abe agreed to give DC the Verizon Center down the line when DC gave him funds to spruce up the arena.",/i>

Who said anything about lawsuits? Since when are lawsuits the only indication that someone cares about something?

If you prefer to imagine that someone in line to inherit hundreds of millions of dollars doesn't care whether a few mill of it gets pissed down a hole before he has a chance to get his hands on it, so be it.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Haiku, that is funny!

One question, how hard would it be to hop on over to Georgetown, GW or even Johns Hopkins Hospital to get a second opinion? Don't we have some of the best doctors in the country (and the world) in this region? Do the players HAVE to see ONLY the Wizards medical staff?

Regarding Abe's heirs, it's not their money yet, it's his money now, and his to spend as he chooses. I really wish he would spend more, and hopefully the team will get better, and then they will sell more tickets, and maybe he will come out even, or even ahead. You never know. But this situation just stinks. I really feel bad for the players who just can't get any rest. It's a sad state of affairs!

Posted by: g diddy | February 28, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

And of course there's the fact that they don't actually have any money to spend. They spent most of the MLE on Stevenson and Mason. Can't spend money you don't have. What little they have left, even if it wouldn't put them over the tax threshold, isn't enough to attract anyone of merit. And unless they're willing to deal Jamison, Gilbert, or Caron (which would amount to blowing the team up and starting over) they don't have much in the way of trade bait.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder what is up w/ the Wiz training staff. Why is Gil coming back and then having to get surgery a couple days later and Caron not know that his hip is torn after this many games being missed. Either the training staff isnt quite making the cut or theyre forcing players to go in hurt and "make sure" theyre alright. Doesnt make sense to me.

Posted by: TonyTroese | February 28, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The best hospital in this area is Inova Fairfax in Falls Church. It's close enough to Verizon and where most of the players live.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"Who said anything about lawsuits? Since when are lawsuits the only indication that someone cares about something?

If you prefer to imagine that someone in line to inherit hundreds of millions of dollars doesn't care whether a few mill of it gets pissed down a hole before he has a chance to get his hands on it, so be it.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 04:43 PM "

Well, boo hoo. Abe gave away Verizon Center to DC for 50 mil to repair the stadium. Nothing those sons can do about it. Done deal!

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"The Celtics and the Wizards are in dramaatically different situations. The Celtics have a legit shot to get to the Finals and win a title. The Wiz, even if they came into the season healthy and stayed that way, would still be a dark horse to win the East behind Detroit and Boston. Given their current status, spending more money isn't likely to help them much, because no one they could reasonable get is going to have a dramatic impact on their chances to win. The Celtics are a strong enough team that a relatively minor signing like Brown could pay big dividends. Unless they can get someone of significant impact capability (and no one like that is going to want to come here under the current circumstances) all they'd be paying that extra money for is a warm body.

Posted by: kalorama | February 28, 2008 04:40 PM "

I guess you don't remember that they also spent money and mode moves this offseason to bring in KG and Ray Allen and that's why they have a "legit shot." That's why they're good this season.

To get KG, they drafted players like Gerald Green, who had some trade value, and didn't let him just walk scott free, unlike with Jarvis and Jared.

What did Les BouleS do? Pin their hopes on Gilby's training methods, and, according to both EJ and Gilby:

"we don't need to focus on offense during training camp....we're focusing only on defense."

That resulted in going 0-5 to kick this season off.

LOL!

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 28, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"To Rob P: I am the "fool" who has said fire EG and here is why,EJ has gotten more out of this team than any coach could have, yet he has gotten no help from his GM just yesterday the first place CELTICS went out and signed PJ BROWN while Brown may not be an offensive force he plays D and is a good rebounder(think he might help?) trading deadline? no deals whatsoever even though we have two number one picks, hell Ray Charles could have made a trade to help this shorthanded team signed Darius Songalia to a long term contract who until recently, has been injured most of last year and ineffective this season. Pecherov a seven footer who shoots three's and plays no defense, and oh yeah he was injured too,EG was in NY and Milwaukee worked out well for him there ya think? Rob P I don't how long you've been watching basketball but it appears you ain't got a clue about coaching in the NBA.I'm out!!!!!." - DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM

DAREGREGMAG, my friend, you can believe what you like. It's a free country. But, if you are pointing to EG as the team's problem while extolling EJ's coaching abilities and then question my basketbal IQ then you need to get help. It's pretty amusing though.

You cite PJ Brown as some sort of panacea for the Wiz. Are you crazy? Plus, your assuming he would sign here. Let me just enlighten you a little. PJ Brown signed with the Celtics to win a championship and Sam Cassell will do the same here soon. They want nothing to do with the Wiz. Their piggybacking hoping for a ring. OK. Is that hard to understand? PJ Brown and even moreso Cassel, when he signs, may give that team a good minute here and there, but what would they do for us. Help us limp into the playoffs and get immediately knocked off is the most they could do. Big deal!

What else? It's useless. Some people don't know a damn thing about basketball I guess. EJ has coached his BEST season here. That is the most I'll concede, while emphasizing he is a career loser and instills no toughness or a championship mentality on this team. This team is soft in the image of it's coach. Also, why are injuries cited as an excuse for EJ, but not EG??? Pecherov was not meant to see the light of day this year with a healthy team and Songalia could be banging and hitting open 15 footers like he did as the 7th or 8th best player on the team at the end of last year. I heard no complaints then bc he played really well in his intended role. New roles or more expanded roles equals more exposure to these players weaknesses. So, go ahead and fire EG and watch this team sink back to the Unseld days of futility. Also, talk to DCMan about how Abe puts a limit on what EG can do. He might have done something to shore up this team if Abe was not limiting him, but, again, there are no knights in shining armor that are going to rescue this season so I see the idea in not even wasting the money!

Finally, EG built winners and perennial playoff teams in NY and Milwaukee and I think you can see what those teams have turned into since he left. LOSERS! So, I'm now convinced. Let's fire EG everybody! He is definitely the teams problem!

Posted by: Rob P | February 29, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Here is hoping the Coach of the Year contender EJ can keep the Wiz competitive tonight! Chicago is one of the teams sneaking up to kick us out of the playoffs.

By the way, considering we would do nothing in the playoffs, I am almost hoping to miss them entirely to get the lottery pick and then we'll see who comes back next year.

Here's a little tidbit - if the Celtics don't win it all this year, they may be screwed for the next decade! What do ya'll think? Aging big three, aging piggybackers, strong western conference opponent (if they even get that far), etc etc etc.... I think Detroit and possibly Orlando can beat them even in their own conference and there is no dynasty being built there that is for sure. I already see signs from Allen that his game is not near what it was 2/3 yrs ago! Ciao!

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