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Haywood Coming Back Monday; Crittenton Still Out

Shortly after Antawn Jamison scurried to the training room with a right shoulder injury in Cleveland on Wednesday night, Brendan Haywood hopped up out his chair and ran through the tunnel to see him.

"Dag on right I went to go check on him," Haywood said. "Antawn is a big part of what we do. You look at our team, there's probably two guys on this team that can't afford to go down. That's myself and Antawn because there is not a lot of depth behind us."

Haywood, who had a mild ankle sprain last week against Dallas and has been sidelined the past two games, is expected to return on Monday in Atlanta. He admits that he has lost some of his conditioning with the time off, but is working to regain his comfort zone with Flip Saunders's schemes on offense and defense. "I've been running the same plays for five years. Sometimes you can get confused out there because you've been in a different system," he said, "but if you put the time in, it'll work out."

Haywood said he expects to have everything down in time for the season opener in Dallas. The Wizards are still unsure if they will have Jamison, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the preseason. If the Wizards happened to watch Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford aggravate his shoulder injury against Texas on Saturday, they might really want to take their time with Jamison.

Jamison returned to practice on Saturday but was limited to light running on the treadmill and riding the stationary bicycle. He will be examined again next week, but Saunders said "the shoulder is progressing a lot in the last couple of days. He said he isn't feeling much pain in it. That's a good thing, too."

Haywood said Jamison is an invaluable piece to the Wizards. "There is no one on our team that does what he does. He's a guy who gets 20 and 10 inside and stretches the court to the three-point line and that creates spacing for guys like me, Gil [Arenas] and Caron [Butler]. I wish him back. I wish him a speedy recovery."

Reserve point guard Javaris Crittenton remains sidelined with his left foot injury. He was ruled out two weeks ago and had an MRI on Friday which revealed some swelling in two ligaments near his ankle and a bone bruise. He expects to get weekly checkups from here on, but is unsure of his return.

"Not really a timetable," Crittenton said. "What happened last time, we didn't get an MRI before I went back out. So I just went off the feeling. So now we're doing the MRI to get the reading and see where the fluid is before I got back out, so we're being precautious right now."

Crittenton has been limited to working on his shooting form with close-in jumpers, the elliptical machines and the pool. He said he is disappointed that he won't be able to suit up for the exhibition in his hometown of Atlanta, but said he wants to be back for the Wizards' second game of the season in Atlanta on Oct. 30.

"I'm looking forward that," he said. "I think I will be ready. I cant say right now, I'm just going off of hope and faith right now that I'll be ready because the fluid is definitely going down. The bone bruise is definitely getting better. But they keep stressing, it's one of those injuries you never know, you just to keep playing the waiting game."

When asked if he has leaned on anyone during his time out, Crittenton said, "The coaches, they talk to me. The players [say] 'Keep you head up.' But I don't really want no sympathy from nobody," Crittenton said. "I just want to get back out there on the court with the fellas."

By Michael Lee  |  October 17, 2009; 2:53 PM ET
 
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Next: Jamison Making Progress

Comments

first!!

Posted by: Goelez | October 17, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Great to hear that Wood is coming back and even more importantly AJ is progressing well. When he got hurt I said that its a good thing that its AJ because he is super mentaly tough and I think he could take a shot and play through pain easier than most guys would. Alot of guys would also let it affect there shooting mentaly but I think he's the type that wouldnt even think about it once the game starts

Posted by: dlts20 | October 17, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"You look at our team, there's probably two guys on this team that can't afford to go down. That's myself and Antawn because there is not a lot of depth behind us."
-BWood

Add humbleness to the list of attributes that Brendan bears so well.

Posted by: midlevex | October 17, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Oops! Make that bares not bears.

Posted by: midlevex | October 17, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

ha, thats funny. I was thinking the same thing when he didnt put Gil in there but I think he just meant that we have a ton of guards and swing men while were thin up front with Songaila gone. I like Oberto, Blatche, and McGee though so I do think that he couldve showed them some love

Posted by: dlts20 | October 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

His last point was probably better when he talked about how AJ spaces the floor. I dont think Wood likes the thought of having to play alot next to Blatche, Oberto, or McGee since they will be right in his wheel house. With AJ there Wood gets alot more looks around the basket

Posted by: dlts20 | October 17, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"I've been running the same plays for five years. Sometimes you can get confused out there because you've been in a different system," Haywood said.

Considering the same players have not played a single preseason game together I think the team will get off to a slow start which could hurt their chances of getting home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 17, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Haywood may not like it, but I like the option of having Oberto and Haywood on the floor together for a few minutes against certain lineups, especially considering how quickly Blatche can rack up stupid reach-in fouls. A little low post, high post action between the two big men, and most importantly, some hard fouls to gain some respect down low.

Posted by: mugsybol | October 17, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan, I was thinking the same thing a couple of weeks ago but after seeing the games, Im not as worried. The good thing is that we have players. We have guys that can make plays so even if they dont know the system, I still think we can put up points, espicaly with Gil on the floor. The problems may come when Gil is off the floor or when we're on D. One things for sure, we definatly dont have an easy start to the season with that sked we have

Posted by: dlts20 | October 17, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually, AJ's defensive limitations are Haywood's meal ticket. That is, with AJ on the floor, Haywood is needed to cover his back.

Why do I get the feeling that Haywood is all about himself and not the team? Maybe it was fights with Etan, the blow-off of McGee, the pouting during the playoffs, etc.

Hopefully, Flip can keep these guys harmonious until things come together and they start playing well.

Posted by: Izman | October 17, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Wisdom does not come easy. The fact that Haywood's presence down low was sorely missed last season is not something he himself needs to make reference too.

He could just about say anything about AJ being missed, but to bring himself into it wasn't too bright.

That old sayin 'think before you speak' needs to be heeded often, or you will end up with stinkin' foot in your mouth.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I think professionals in any sport must all have huge egos. However, they must know that there egos is a part of their personal success and not something they need to remind people of.

There have been many professinal atheletes that haven't learned that lesson, but those that do most often stand heads and shoulders above the rest.

Brendan Haywood does not strike me as a person that has not learned this lesson, even though his actions and words have seemed to indicate otherwise.

So, at this time, I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. Time is gonna tell however, for him and his Teammates in this season to come, whether their egos or the Teams success is most important.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 17, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

dlts20

I wish I had your optimistic view but the regular season is different than an All-Star game or preseason.

The USA teams have lost to a lot of international games to teams that they were more talented than.

The difference is the international teams played together and knew what they were doing and the USA teams thought they could win on talent alone.

Basketball is a team sport.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 17, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Why do I get the feeling that Haywood is all about himself and not the team?

Posted by: Izman | October 17, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to get that same feeling.

Posted by: bpybay | October 17, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to be optimistic about AJ coming back soon, but the vivid picture I have of him walking off the court dragging his shoulder right after the injury, directly into the locker room, makes me very uneasy, and if there is anyone who needs his full range of motion with the many ways he scores the bball, it's AJ. I believe he's out till midseason at best. Pessimistic? Perhaps, but that is our history. We always get really up for the season, and then get very deflated soon thereafter.

I think we all remember CWebb trying to play with a separated shoulder. There were not too many tougher players than CWebb, who once took stitches right on the Wiz bench during a game (I believe it was his lip) -- WITHOUT ANESTHESIA!!! He messed around trying to play with that shoulder for two-thirds of a season, before he ended up agreeing to surgery, something he should have done when he got injured.

Good luck, AJ. If it turns out you need surgery, DON'T WAIT!!!

Posted by: bpybay | October 17, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"I'm trying to be optimistic about AJ coming back soon, but the vivid picture I have of him walking off the court dragging his shoulder right after the injury, directly into the locker room, makes me very uneasy"

well, if it makes you feel any better, the fact he's already jogging is a good sign. Jogging is the last thing you want to do if your shoulder is loose.

Posted by: divi3 | October 17, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

lmao, who cares?

Haywood is just stating facts. The two positions with the least proven depth. Big deal!

I can't wait for the season to start so this endless conjecture can end!

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 17, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

haywood is still an arrogant man for no reason, he should notice that blatche came pretty close to his career high stats while playing out of position on a god-awful team last year, I know this team needs haywood but I dislike the man in a serious way

Posted by: bford1kb | October 17, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I seem to remember Haywood could have played last year, but didnt want to risk the chance of arthritis in his hand 20yrs from now or something like that. Cant really blame him I guess, but not exactly Ronnie Lott losing a partial finger.

At the time he said with a straight face into the camera "It's all about Brendon Haywood."

Make of it what you will...

Posted by: divi3 | October 17, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

LMAO. Methinks Rphilli721 is a little riled up.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 17, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Brendan taking his time coming back last year. The team was not going anywhere. Too bad Eddie Tap & Ernie couldn't figger that out and cut down on AJ & CB's min/Game. Players have to be selfish when it comes to recovering from injuries. Come back too soon and you could pull a Gilbert. It's all about $$$$'s why chance cutting your earning years just to come back. Too often wrist, shoulder, hip & knee injuries eventually take a toll when they are not fully healed. I hope AJ ,at his age, realizes that & takes his time.

Posted by: VBFan | October 17, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"You look at our team, there's probably two guys on this team that can't afford to go down. That's myself and Antawn because there is not a lot of depth behind us.""

LOL!

What does that say when your max money player isn't considered as someone who "can't afford to go down?"

It's called "money well spent."

NOT!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 17, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Gil Arenas..2009-10 Comeback player of the year. Holla at your boy! Get in line for the bandwagon! Go Wiz!

Posted by: ptp23 | October 17, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a self absorbed numbskull and a terrible teammate. Jamison and Butler won 19 games last year and like Haywood good pro ballpalyers. Haywood has sold this team his propaganda but he is a bottom tier center who is a cog not the most important piece.

Jamison is a good dude and a stat stuffer but there won't be a major dropoff and the long term chances of the team will improve with the younger guys getting time. Don't confuse Jamison with Dirk.

Haywood needs to shut up and play ball. You need to win something before you start talking this kind of $h-t.

Posted by: NewManagement | October 17, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Next thing we'll here from EG is that "it's great to get these injuries out of the way before the season starts so that we can be injury free during the season."

Whatever.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 17, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Jamison is a good dude and a stat stuffer but there won't be a major dropoff and the long term chances of the team will improve with the younger guys getting time.

Posted by: NewManagement | October 17, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope you're right, but there's nothing in the past production of his replacements that convinces me that you are.

Posted by: rbpalmer | October 17, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The contextual setting of Haywood's amusing, self reverential proclamation was in reference to his thoughtful visit to an injured teammate and he was basically correct in his assessment; Washington is long on guards and short on quality big men. He framed it badly and it came out, well, just a little funny.

Posted by: midlevex | October 18, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The comment that Haywood made was dimwitted. But let us be careful not to believe that it also shows his real and true character.

We all make statements once in awhile that appear to be character revealing but are really only, just plain stupid.

Just like a child grows older and mature, a professional must also grow old and mature.

Though Haywood has been around a bit, he is still yet to be a polished mature vet.

He may think he is, but he isn't and his very words indicates that very clearly.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 18, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"He may think he is, but he isn't and his very words indicates that very clearly.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 18, 2009 12:29 AM"

BTH is clearly the only guy on the team willing to express himself without walking on eggshells.

It's quite refreshing actually. Reporters should ask him more questions, instead of badgering Gilby who clearly doesn't want to talk anymore until he can prove himself on the court again.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 18, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

LOL!

What does that say when your max money player isn't considered as someone who "can't afford to go down?"

It's called "money well spent."

NOT!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 17, 2009 10:34 PM

This would be telling if it were really true. It is not, for this Team despite the dynamics of the past cannot afford to lose Gilbert if it has any hopes of attaining its goal this year.

Surely, we may have adequate depth in guard play, but lets not fool ourselves that this Team is going deep in the playoffs or a 4th seed or better without Gilbert.

This fact alone, though Haywood's statement at face value has some merit, is why what Haywood said just simply a very poor choice of words and nothing more.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 18, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"Don't confuse Jamison with Dirk."

What exactly has Dirk done other than put up stats without playing any defense, and disappearing like clockwork late in postseason games?


Posted by: divi3 | October 18, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"Don't confuse Jamison with Dirk."

What exactly has Dirk done other than put up stats without playing any defense, and disappearing like clockwork late in postseason games?

Posted by: divi3 | October 18, 2009 12:47 AM

Yeah, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we were discussing Mike Miller. His comment was that Miller reminded him of Dirk.

My comment was, I felt that Miller was more versatile and smoother than Dirk and that he facilitates other players better than Dirk.

After looking at Miller the other night, he appears to have an all around game with and without the ball.

I don't know how much of what I saw will translate to the regular season, but I am almost certain that Mike Miller is more than just a role player.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 18, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I've said it once and I'll say it again. ThIS TEAM IS NOT TOGETHER. You have those in the Jamison (Haywood, Butler)corner and those in the Gil's (rest of team)corner. How many games did they win last year 19 with Jamison and Butler playing. This is a better passing team with Jamison on the bench. You can only have 1 person for a team to follow. If anyone go down Jamison is the one the Wiz can loose but hey NC players stick together.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | October 18, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

"I've said it once and I'll say it again. ThIS TEAM IS NOT TOGETHER. You have those in the Jamison (Haywood, Butler)corner and those in the Gil's (rest of team)corner."

Never heard of such. Can't see any truth in that whatsoever.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 18, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

News on Jamison appears postive for now, just hope AJ and the Wiz don't put an artifical timetable on his recovery. Better to take an extra week now, then to try and come back too soon and play through a lingering injury on his shooting shoulder.

Anyone who's just catching the fact that Brendan's the team Diva haven't been paying attention much. Having been a long time Maryland fan, I remember him well from his Carolina days.

The guy's always been good for a good insert foot in mouth quote. And was always known to throw a teammate or a coach under the bus, sit there and never have a clue about what he'd just said.

One of those, it wasn't what I said, it's how you choose to take it guys.

But the guy's one of the longest players in the NBA, eats space in the lane, and quarterback's the defense. On offense he's a decent offensive rebounder that teams have to account for all the time glass.

Not an elite center, but servicable, with a good contract. But if he asks for too much money next summer, he'll be somewhere else next fall. Because it's all about Brendan, and at 10m or more per yr. he won't be worth the trouble.

But for this year, the guy's going to play his butt off for that payday. He's going to be an important part of the puzzle.

And from time to time we'll be left to puzzle over Brendan...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 18, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You mean the "free chucky atkins" corner?


Posted by: gconrads | October 18, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Now.....let me guess this staight "Da Wood"thinks he's important to this team, defensively speaking that is and guess what? he's right when Haywood went down last year the Wizard defense had no inside presence and how many of us posted on this blog about his absence and how we thought we'd never be singing the praises of Haywood's defense. Brendan is important to the success of this team like it or not he's the only real defensive stopper we've got.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 18, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Brendan stated a fact. Anyone excited about Oberto or McGee starting and playing heavy minutes at center? Oberto's best days are behind him and McGee will give up more points on defense than he gets on O.
If the Wiz meet Orlando or the Cavs in the playoffs, they're dead in the water with either Oberto or McGee. Brendan could have stated this fact differently but, he spoke the truth IMO.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 18, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

AJ does not need to rush for surgery.
The out come of surgical treatment is not going to change by delaying surgery.i would rather advice the team to push him go for it as early as possible.
If he has no pain 3 weeks after intensive rehab, he can try to play but there is a 50% chance for redislocation.
i just do not want for AJ to go down aagain.He is going to miss a minimum 50% of the games in november.None of the players in the current roster can make up his contributions.

Posted by: gtefferra | October 18, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Don't confuse Jamison with Dirk."

What exactly has Dirk done other than put up stats without playing any defense, and disappearing like clockwork late in postseason games?

Posted by: divi3 | October 18, 2009 12:47 AM

How about consistently making the playoffs and coming about 8 minutes away from winning a championship. In Haywood's 9 yeras with the squad the Wizards have been in the second round once (thanks to principally to Gil).

Posted by: NewManagement | October 18, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Surely, we may have adequate depth in guard play, but lets not fool ourselves that this Team is going deep in the playoffs or a 4th seed or better without Gilbert.

This fact alone, though Haywood's statement at face value has some merit, is why what Haywood said just simply a very poor choice of words and nothing more.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 18, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse "

And don't fool yourself that the team can go deep WITH Gilby in the lineup because even when he was healthy, it never materialized.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 18, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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