The injury bug has bitten the Wizards again, this time with Al Harrington who suffered yet another setback this season.
Harrington has been dealing with knee issues for the past few seasons, and the story has unfortunately continued during his first season with the Wizards. He’s sat out the majority of the season with a sore knee, but it appears as if he’s been suffering from much more than that. After trying to ramp up activity recently, Harrington felt some pain and immediately saw a doctor. He underwent surgery and he’ll likely be out at least a month. Here’s the update via team press release:
Wizards forward Al Harrington underwent a diagnostic arthroscopy and lavage procedure this evening to clean out loose particles in his right knee. He will miss the next four weeks and then be re-evaluated. The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado.
Washington was desperately searching for a stretch-4 during the offseason, and after Harrington sat out the entire season with the Orlando Magic and was eventually waived, the Wizards signed him to a veterans minimum deal hoping he could fill that role. Harrington averaged about 8 points per game before getting hurt this season, but more importantly he was a scoring option off the bench which the Wizards have been lacking ever since.
Even though Harrington won’t contribute on the floor, he has mentored a lot of the younger players on the team off the court. Much like Martell Webster, Al Harrington is undoubtedly one of the more popular players in the locker room. Sporting his patented “Cheddah” smile, Harrington joked about being an assistant coach until he returns, saying;
I’m an assistant coach. You didn’t know that? I’ve been coaching my [butt] off,” Harrington said with a laugh. “I’ve already talked to Ernie about getting another check possibly. We in negotiations for that right now. So, I’m coach Harrington and the player. Like back in the day, remember the guy would be the head coach and the player? I’m trying to bring it back.
The Wizards will have to find a way to replace Harrington’s production until he returns, which doesn’t seem likely to happen with the current players on the roster. Washington’s bench has been the worst in the NBA so far in the season, and they don’t have anyone who could play the stretch-4 role as well as Harrington.
It’s a shame that the Harrington signing hasn’t worked out so far, but he’s been great for the team nonetheless. Hopefully he’ll be back on the court sooner rather than later.