Mike James Done For Season
In this worst-case scenario season, you can add Mike James to the list of injured players who won't play again this season for the Washington Wizards. Interim coach Ed Tapscott was hoping that James had merely jammed his finger in practice on Friday, but James emerged from shoot-around Saturday morning wearing a cast on his shooting hand after an X-ray revealed a broken right pinkie.
The veteran guard said on Saturday morning that he broke his right pinkie in three places and likely will have surgery on Tuesday. James even put aside any doubt the severity of the injury when pulled out his iPhone and showed his X-ray.
James said he was chasing down a loose ball when he and Caron Butler slapped at the ball at the same time. He said that he knew immediately that he was done. "I felt it," James said. "I knew as soon as I grabbed the ball, I couldn't feel the ball and that side of the hand was hurting."
James's injury comes at a time when Gilbert Arenas is expected to make his return after missing the first 73 games with a left knee injury. Arenas participated in the first half of shoot-around this morning and Tapscott said Arenas will still be listed as a game-time decision tonight.
"Another guy goes down," Tapscott said. "It's been the story of our season. We've been plagued by injury problems, we just have to be flexible and adjust. We'll wait until we see what happens, how we're going to configure the lineup. This obviously means we'll have more playing time for Javaris Crittenton and Nick Young. We'll figure it out. That's what we do."
James averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 assists in 53 games -- 50 starts -- since joining the Wizards in a Dec. 10 trade with the New Orleans Hornets that also yielded Crittenton from Memphis. "I've never had a broken bone before and I've never been injured in my career," James said. "For me to have this, I always thought I was like Wolverine from the X-men. All my bruises heal. Now, I'm like nah, unh ungh."
With the plan for Arenas not to play back-to-back games, the Wizards could find themselves with a really, really short-handed backcourt in Indiana on Sunday. Juan Dixon is still out with an Achilles injury and DeShawn Stevenson is out for the season with a back injury, leaving the Wizards with three options at guard -- Crittenton, Young and Butler -- on the nights without Arenas.
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