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Wizards' Martell Webster has back surgery, will be out 3-5 months

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Martell Webster has to have back surgery again.
Martell Webster has to have back surgery again. (USATSI)

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Washington Wizards swingman Martell Webster had back surgery on Thursday to repair a herniated disc, the team announced in a statement. It will be three to five months before he resumes basketball activity.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins Jr. in Los Angeles following consultation with team doctors earlier in the week. Webster sustained the injury during a routine workout at the Wizards' practice facility last week.

This is rough news for Webster, who had two procedures on his back before coming to Washington in 2012-2013 and battled back and ankle issues throughout this past season. He averaged 9.7 points per game in 2013-2014, shooting 43 percent from the field and 39 percent from the three-point line.

Back problems are generally scary for NBA teams. Next season will be the second of Webster's four-year contract for the non-taxpayer midlevel exception. His shooting and defense are key parts of what the Wizards do, and they will have to hope that he's able to recover quickly and not lose too much mobility.

Starting small forward Trevor Ariza is a free agent this summer, and Washington plans to try to keep him. If the Wizards can't manage that, there will be a lot of pressure on second-year small forward Otto Porter at the beginning of the year.

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