ORLANDO -- While it appears to be a longshot that Martell Webster can come back anytime soon despite practicing, it has been determined that a bone spur is causing the constant aggravation in his right hip, and a tear in the connective tissue, that had kept him on the shelf since training camp and potential season-ending surgery might be required.
After his first full practice Tuesday, Webster made it through pain-free but took one final shot and discomfort returned. In an unusual twist, Webster now is wearing prescription eyewear (PRI) that is designed to improve his balance by keeping him level so he doesn't put too much stress on his right hip. That, he said, is the source of his pain. He hopes that corrects the problem which is called postural restoration and he can avoid surgery.
"When it gets to the point that nothing's happening, the hip's not getting better ... I don't know just go back to the drawing board and see if surgery is the best solution after exhausting all avenues," Webster said Wednesday from the floor of Amway Center, where the Wizards will make their regular-season debut tonight vs. the Orlando Magic.
"I played the whole practice yesterday. Felt good. Literally on my last shot, after practice when we were getting up our spot shots, my last shot is when it started to flare up again. (Expletive) I probably could've given 10 minutes tonight if that hadn't happened."
Surgery essentially would be season-ending, putting him out anywhere from 4-6 months.
If he comes back, there's still no guarantee that he can regain the form that he had a few seasons ago in Washington when he averaged a career-high 11.4 points. The glasses he now has to wear could be an impediment to shooting. It's a complex situation and Webster is exhausting all options.
"The hardest adjustment for me having to play with these glasses on," Webster said. "I was huffing and puffing yesterday because I haven't done anything in three weeks. I couldn't do any condition. No bike, Versaclimber, elliptical, I couldn't do anything. I felt it a little bit yesterday but I got through it. The struggle for me is it almost seems like you're in a whole different world when you put these glasses on. ... These glasses bring the floor up to me. Before I had the glasses it seemed I was so far away from the ground which is the reason why I had the discomfort and I had to adjust my body so I have a better center of gravity. These glasses essentially make you feel shorter so you feel closer to the ground. And that condenses everything. It's I'm like in this crazy world when I have them on."
So even if Webster is able to manage the discomfort from the bone spur and small tear in his labrum and avoid surgery, his game could be negatively impacted by the glasses. The 6-8 forward, who was expected to be an option for coach Randy Wittman at the "stretch" position, has a long way to go.
Webster is in the final fully guaranteed year of his contract. If he doesn't play at least 70 of 82 games this season, 2016-17 is just a partial guarantee that the Wizards can buy out at just over $2 million. He had to play 180 total regular season games in the first three years of the deal for the fourth year to be a full guarantee at $5.9 million.