See You Next Year, Brendan Haywood

If Gilbert Arenas' continued medical issues with his knee weren't worrisome enough, losing Brendan Haywood for four to six months because of that pesky wrist injury he suffered in practice this week. The Washington Post's Ivan Carter reports that Haywood needs surgery to repair a torn wrist ligament; the recovery period will keep him out until at least February, and possibly the entire season. Meanwhile, Antawn Jamison has an injury that keeps most players out two months; Jamison, however, says he will be ready for opening night.

Haywood was a huge, undersung cause for Washington's improvement last season. Perhaps being unshackled from constant battle with Etan Thomas allowed the ease of mind to finally perform well. Maybe Haywood finally got it. Some would argue Haywood had a fluke year, and would have come crashing back down to Earth in '08-09. Whatever the case, we aren't going to find out.

It appears Thomas will get the starting nod, though Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee figure as options, according to the Post's Carter. Is it an opportunity for the Wizards to see what they have in the youth corps? Sure, but it's also enough to suggest Washington won't be making the playoffs this season unless someone unexpected comes through in a major, major way.

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