Webber appears surgery bound Bullet stays in N.Y. after seeing specialist


After seeing a specialist yesterday concerning his injured left shoulder, Washington Bullets forward Chris Webber remained in New York overnight, raising questions whether surgery was imminent.

Should the surgery on the shoulder be done today, or in the next several days, it would mean that the 1995-96 season is over for Webber, who separated his shoulder for the second time during the preseason and then reinjured it in a spill Dec. 29.

Bullets general manager John Nash, reached last night, said he had no information about the visit yesterday of Webber with the specialist in New York.

"I know that he saw a doctor in New York this afternoon, and I really don't have any information," Nash said.

Webber's agent, Fallasha Erwin, also remained in New York overnight. Both he and his client have said that Webber is leaning toward having the surgery. According to Erwin, the specialist in New York -- whom Erwin would not name -- has performed the procedure on several professional athletes.

The fact that Webber has sought out the specialist leads to the speculation that the decision to have the surgery already has been made. Webber's hospital stay would be short, perhaps a day. Erwin said he would be in a sling for four weeks, have four weeks for rehabilitation, followed by eight to 10 weeks of weight training.

Under that timetable, Webber, by having the surgery now, would be out of basketball for four to five months, giving him a chance at a full recovery by the summer and leaving him plenty of time to be ready for training camp in October.

Webber missed part of the team's training camp this season as he ironed out a contract that will pay him an average of $9.5 million over the next six years. Once he was in camp his time in uniform was brief, with Webber suffering a separated shoulder during a preseason game against Indiana on Oct. 21.

It was the second shoulder separation in less than a year for Webber, with doctors telling him surgery would be the only way to correct the problem.

However, Webber wanted to try to make it through the season, and performed well when he did play, averaging 23.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in 15 games.

But he's experienced pain in the shoulder since falling on it against New York Dec. 29, leading to the apparent decision to undergo surgery.

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