Jared Dudley, projected to be a spot starter and sixth man for the Wizards this season after the loss of Paul Pierce, had lower back surgery to fix a herniated disk Tuesday and will be out 3-4 months. This is his first back surgery, his agent confirmed. to CSNwashington.com late Tuesday.
The Wizards were aware that Dudley had discomfort most of last season with the Milwaukee Bucks when he missed four games with pain. Dudley was acquired in a trade for a top-55 protected second-round pick in 2020 earlier this month.
“Although I’m disappointed that I won’t be on the floor with my new teammates for the start of training camp, I’m confident that having this surgery now will allow me to perform at my best and contribute throughout the season,” said Dudley in a statement from the team. “I appreciate the patience and support of the organization and I can assure my teammates and the fans that I will work extremely hard to be on the floor as soon as possible.”
Best-case scenario is that Dudley returns in early November, and in that short span the Wizards should be OK with Otto Porter (projected starter) and Alan Anderson.
Forgotten in the small forward mix has been Martell Webster, who had the third lower back surgery of his career last summer though it was in a different spot than Dudley's. Webster didn't return to play until January and never regained form.
J.J. Redick entered the NBA with a bulging disk problem as far back as 2006 and has missed time because of it, including last season as a member of the L.A. Clippers. He has avoided surgery.
Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Pelicans) has had a disk issue as well after a collision in a game in the 2013-14 season. He didn't play again after Jan. 4 and had surgery. Anderson returned to average 13.7 points last season, above his career average.