Andray Blatche sits out practice with left knee swelling, expects to play against the Lakers
Andray Blatche (left knee swelling) and John Wall (sore left foot) both sat out of practice to nurse their respective injuries. Blatche said he started developing soreness in his knee the day after scoring 14 points in a team-high 40 minutes in the Wizards' 101-95 loss to New York on Friday, in his return after missing the previous two games with a left hip contusion. The condition worsened the next day, Blatche said, and he shut himself down after attempting to run in practice.
"My knee was fine against the Knicks; it was just my hip. I was dragging a little bit, but I tried to compete as hard as I could," he said. "After the Knicks game, I went home, it felt a little strange, but it wasn't swollen. Last night, when I went to bed, it was real stiff, I looked up and it was swollen. Today, I couldn't even bend it. I couldn't even practice."
Blatche said he doesn't expect the injury to force him to sit out against the Lakers on Tuesday. He missed the Wizards' 115-108 loss to the Lakers last week after suffering a bruised hip in the loss to Phoenix. "The pain moved from my hip, now it's in my knee," said Blatche, who pulled down the protective sleeve over his knee to show how much swelling had developed. "I'm going to go home, ice, try to get this thing down. Try to get ready. We've got a couple of days [to prepare] anyway. Only thing that can keep from going is if I can't bend this leg."
Blatche has been dealing with some soreness in his left knee all season and was forced to miss a few practices. "It comes and goes. When it's gone I'm fine, when it comes back, it comes back stronger and worse," he said.
Blatche has missed two of the past four games, but wasn't concerned about working his way back into the flow. "I'm not worried about my rhythm. I worried about my team, getting some wins. We're on the wrong path and we've got to do something to turn it around," he said.
He added that he was most upset with how the Wizards performed in Sacramento in his absence. "Those kind of games hurt the most. Seeing them go out there and get manhandled as a team. It just seemed guys didn't put forth the effort. Guys didn't give it they all that game and it showed. That Sacramento team shouldn't have did what they did to us -- but they did, because guys don't really get this. This is a job. You're doing something you love, so why not work hard? Guys wasn't doing it that game, and that's why we got our [butt] kicked. It's all about focus, focus and passion. You got to want it."
Coach Flip Saunders expects Blatche to be available against the Lakers, but added it has been hard to find a reliable rotation with his big men, either through injuries or inconsistency. "It's not knowing the guys you have, but our young guys, what to expect," he said. "It can change over the course of a day, going into the game, or in the course of the game."
Kevin Seraphin went from starter against Sacramento to inactive against the Knicks. Trevor Booker worked himself into the rotation on the west coast, averaging 21.3 minutes against Phoenix, the Lakers and Kings, but was limited to just six minutes against the Knicks.
Saunders recently met with Hilton Armstrong, one of the Wizards' most experienced big men to explain why he has seen less action in the past few games. The 6-11 Armstrong received his first DNP-Coach's Decision of the season against the Knicks. "He had played well, then he kind of slipped in practice," Saunders said of Armstrong. "He's picked it up the past few days."
"The rotation is situational, as much as anything," Saunders said.
| December 12, 2010; 5:36 PM ET
Categories: Andray Blatche, Flip Saunders, John Wall
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