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Andray Blatche may return by training camp, but Wizards won't return to Richmond

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld was understandably disappointed when he heard that forward Andray Blatche broke his foot last week and will be kept from basketball-related activities from the next three months. Blatche had surgery on Friday.


Oh, that hurts. (AP Photo)

"It's unfortunate because he's been working really, really hard this offseason," Grunfeld said in a telephone interview on Monday. "I feel bad for him because he was really looking forward to this year and putting in the time, but we expect him back and he should be ready for the regular season."

Grunfeld said Blatche had been working out with trainers and lifting with the strength and conditioning coach at Verizon Center on daily basis, hoping to build upon a final 32-game stretch in which he averaged 22.1 points on 48.5 percent shooting with 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals.

He added that Blatche was unsure when the injury actually occurred since he had been working out, walking around and playing at Barry Farm with some pain in his foot. When the pain became unbearable after an awkward landing at Verizon Center, the fracture in his fifth metatarsal was discovered. The timetable would keep Blatche out until late September, which would put his return close to training camp.

"Time will tell how everything comes together, but it's possible for training camp also," Grunfeld said. "It just depends on how quickly the healing process goes. Those kind of things, you don't know. Our doctors say he'll have a 100 percent recovery. It's just unfortunate he was having a very good summer up until this point."

Blatche's injury won't influence the Wizards' plans as it relates to free agency, Grunfeld said. "No, we expect him back."

The Wizards, though, have no intention of returning to Richmond, after training on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University for the past six seasons. New owner Ted Leonsis would like to bring back training camp closer to Washington.

"We loved Richmond, it was a very good situation, but we are looking at trying to maybe get a little bit closer to our fan base here in the D.C. area and if we can find the right place and the right facility, we might be closer," Grunfeld said last Friday.

One alternative under consideration is the Patriot Center, which falls under Leonsis's Monumental Sports and Entertainment umbrella. Coach Flip Saunders spent time in Richmond the past two seasons - the first time under the invitation of Eddie Jordan and the second time running his first training camp as Wizards coach - but is looking forward to a move closer to home.

"I like the idea of putting everything back in D.C. people have an opportunity to see us, open up a couple of practices. The other thing is, we play five games on the road in preseason. We always start on the road, so when we go down there for eight days, we start training camp, and for the first seven weeks, we were on the road all the time. I think it helps us for the season to be back here. Now we've got to make sure we can get a facility in order to do it."

The Wizards will introduce draft picks Trevor Booker and Hamady Ndiaye on Tuesday. Both players are expected to participate in the Wizards summer league team, along with John Wall, JaVale McGee and Cartier Martin. Former Maryland star Eric Hayes and Michigan State forward Raymar Morgan have also been invited to participate. Two surprising players expected to also join the Wizards this summer are former Los Angeles Lakers guard and Chinese national team member Sun Yue and former Georgetown standout Michael Sweetney.

By Michael Lee  |  June 28, 2010; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche  
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Next: Randy Foye to become unrestricted free agent

Comments

Part of me thinks this injury could have been the best thing that has happened to Blatche. I like hearing that Andray has been putting in the time this offseason to better himself, but coming from someone that has undergone two knee reconstruction surgeries, nothing teaches you the meaning and value of strength & conditioning until you're physically forced off the court for an extended period of time.

I only hope the previous Wizards' training staff has been replaced in its entirety, and no medical personnel give Blatche the free reign to decide when he's healthy enough to get back on the court (unlike a certain former young talent that still dons a Wizards uniform).

Posted by: psps23 | June 28, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Tell blatche to limp his way to the weight room and strengthen that upper body while his foot is healing.

Posted by: jefferu | June 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Part of me thinks this injury could have been the best thing that has happened to Blatche. I like hearing that Andray has been putting in the time this offseason to better himself, but coming from someone that has undergone two knee reconstruction surgeries, nothing teaches you the meaning and value of strength & conditioning until you're physically forced off the court for an extended period of time.

Were it any other kind of injury, I might agree with you, but lower-extremity stress-fractures in big men concern me. See Bowie, Sam; Walton, Bill; Ming, Yao.

Posted by: rufus_t_firefly | June 28, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm bummed they aren't coming back down here to Richmond. We have considered that a special treat for some loyal fans who get all the games on tv.

Posted by: patrick15 | June 28, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Were it any other kind of injury, I might agree with you, but lower-extremity stress-fractures in big men concern me. See Bowie, Sam; Walton, Bill; Ming, Yao."

True. I originally thought it better a metatarsal injury rather than a joint injury, but stress injuries can be just as debilitating over the long term. Let's just hope the doctors are right about a 100% recovery.

Posted by: psps23 | June 28, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Sucks for Richmond, but this is a step closer to NOVA getting a D-League team. Is it too soon to call them the Supernova?

Posted by: djnnnou | June 28, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Tell blatche to limp his way to the weight room and strengthen that upper body while his foot is healing.

Posted by: jefferu | June 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Thats not too smart...He does not want to add too much weight (in the muscular sense) on his upper body without conditioning his leg at the same time. If he does that, his legs will get reinjured. Time and time again, people who bulk up without concentrating on their legs end up injuring their legs in the long grind of the NBA season. This has happen to everyone from Kobe to Sean Elliot...

Posted by: merajc86 | June 28, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Sucks for Richmond, but this is a step closer to NOVA getting a D-League team. Is it too soon to call them the Supernova?

Posted by: djnnnou

I like it! And I'm definitely in favor of a D-League team at the Patriot Center. It's a hop-skip and a jump from my house. I'd definitely check out some d-league action.

Posted by: ts35 | June 28, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Former Maryland star Eric Hayes?

Who is that?

Far as Blatche, hope he heals up but this kid's attitude is a far bigger problem than his broken foot.

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 28, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Blatche getting injured and missing three months of off-season training and practice is the "best thing." Learning a lesson is certainly more important then being healthy. Brilliant.

Posted by: travisloop | June 28, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Far as Blatche, hope he heals up but this kid's attitude is a far bigger problem than his broken foot.

Posted by: kahlua87

But if he had in fact been working out with the staff pretty much daily this offseason, in addition to his conditioning, it represents a step in the right direction with his attitude.

Posted by: ts35 | June 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Far as Blatche, hope he heals up but this kid's attitude is a far bigger problem than his broken foot.

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 28, 2010 5:09 PM

The attitude that had him working out at VC everyday until this injury? Fear not about Real Deal Blatche....he wants to get PAID and he's currently on one of the worst contracts in the league (player perspective)....so you can bet we'll see an awesome Andray for the next 2 seasons. Does that mean we do or dont ink him to a big deal? Not even going there, just saying he's got plenty of financial motivation to have monster seasons and shed his bad image over the next 24 months.

Posted by: divi3 | June 28, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I respect the people who think Hindlick is worth 9M/yr, I just don't agree.

The bulletsforever analysis is pretty good in my opinion:

http://www.bulletsforever.com/2010/6/26/1536017/the-oklahoma-city-thunder-take-the
Posted by: FunStreet | June 28, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Without taking on any contracts past this year, they could have filled out the roster with some veteran back-ups - a veteran PF, good defender and good shooter (Songaila), a big decent defending SG (Peterson) and Beasley.

The last sentence....calling Mo Pete a defending SG...destroyed all credibility.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | June 28, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Were it any other kind of injury, I might agree with you, but lower-extremity stress-fractures in big men concern me. See Bowie, Sam; Walton, Bill; Ming, Yao.

Posted by: rufus_t_firefly | June 28, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse


would be true if blatche were actually a "big man" hes just tall thats all...

and ummm...dont be suprised if hes not starting this year to start off..and his replacement takes the coaches by storm

Posted by: mrhney03 | June 28, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse


would be true if blatche were actually a "big man" hes just tall thats all...

and ummm...dont be suprised if hes not starting this year to start off..and his replacement takes the coaches by storm

Posted by: mrhney03 | June 28, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

If that's true, the player who's going to replace him isn't on the current roster. Booker? Doubtful.

The team needs a healthy Blatche from day one to even keep the games entertaining. I too question if he'll ever get it all together upstairs (and yes, I agree that this offseason seems like a step in that direction), but you can't ignore his production over those final games. Can he reproduce those numbers when he's no longer the number one option? Probably not, but as long as he doesn't let that fact effect his play he'll still be a solid producer who can be counted on for 14, 7 and 3. I'd take that from a third option.

Him being hurt is a major setback.

Posted by: bullets | June 28, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"Time will tell how everything comes together, but it's possible for training camp also," Grunfeld said. "It just depends on how quickly the healing process goes. Those kind of things, you don't know. Our doctors say he'll have a 100 percent recovery."


Oh God. If "our" doctors say he'll be 100% by training camp, that means 2014 training camp!

Posted by: CBell29 | June 28, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Blatche was unsure when the injury actually occurred since he had been working out, walking around and playing at Barry Farm with some pain in his foot. When the pain became unbearable after an awkward landing at Verizon Center, the fracture in his fifth metatarsal was discovered.

Sounds like we have the same medical staff and trainers?

Why didn't someone check him out when he first started feeling some pain.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 28, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Was just checking to see how many draft choices Boston gave up to get Garnett and Allen in 2007.

For Garnett: two 2009 picks, one top 3 protected, the other the return of a conditional pick the Wolves had traded to Boston in a previous swap. Players involved were Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, and the ubiquitous 'cash considerations'.

For Ray Allen: Seattle sent the 35th pick, Glen Davis, and Boston gave up the 5th pick, Jeff Green. Other players involved were Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak to the Celts. Allen was 32 at the time.

Here's an article that says the Celts are considering Mike Miller as a replacement for Allen.

http://www.hoopsvibe.com/nba-news-and-rumors/articles/103110-rumor-will-mike-miller-replace-ray-allen-in-boston

Posted by: Samson151 | June 28, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Ray Allen, what did Grunfeld get for him when he traded him to Seattle from Milwaukee for Gary Payton? Milwaukee got Gary Payton for half a season and he had no intention of resigning. Seattle got Allen in his prime. Another Grunfeld blunder!

Posted by: oknow1 | June 29, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Get well Blatche!

Its a guard legue the experts say.
MAKE PLAYERS GO FOUR YEARS!
I'm tired of hearing he has size and he's athletic.
That's why its a guard league some need to learn the game!

Posted by: shamken | June 29, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Should we have interest in Anthony Tolliver of GSW? Oakland Tribune says that with a glut of bigs, Tolliver and Chris Hunter were not tendered qualifying offers and will be free agents tomorrow.

Posted by: rickgonz | June 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I AM A LONG TIME FAN AND I AM GLAD TO SEE TRAING CAMP MOVING CLOSER TO HOME. I THINK THE FANS WOULD LOVE IT

Posted by: lazy1520 | June 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Depending on his conditioning, Sweetney might be a sleeper on our summer team. He has an NBA body and didn't seem to be a good fit in N.Y. Possibly, a change in scenery might do him some good. He's still only 27 and has not had a history of injuries so maybe he'll make the roster.

Rob

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

For those that mentioned him working out daily with Wiz staff per his attitude, I liken that to a guy trying to get a big payday in his final contract year. He has to prove that it goes further than that before his rep gets a clean slate. I've always said that this kid was talented but 'Kwame Lite' because of his attitude. Until I see different...

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 29, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Who really care? The guy has not taken advantage of his abilities and does not want to work to get better.

Posted by: mrcox54 | June 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I saw him go down at Barry Farms and not return to the game. Cant say for sure if thats where it happened, but I did see this with my own eyes.

Posted by: dus_37 | June 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

TRADE HIM AS SOON AS HE IS HEALTHY...Waste of talent.

Posted by: kevenjones | June 29, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree with you more. The last half of the season, after the trade, saw Andray take full advantage. His numbers soared (22pg, 9rpg). Give him a chance.

----------------------------
Who really care? The guy has not taken advantage of his abilities and does not want to work to get better.

Posted by: mrcox54 | June 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lilmacumd | July 1, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

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