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Josh Howard may miss start of next season

Mar 16, 2010, 11:02 PM EDT

Josh Howard — traded from Dallas to the Washington Wizards at the deadline and subsequently injured his knee three games later — not only will miss the rest of this season but also could miss the start of next year.

Surgery Tuesday repaired ligaments in Howard’s let knee, but the recovery is expected to take six to eight months. The far end of that timeframe would have him missing the start of next season.

The injury — which happened Feb. 22 against Chicago — will not help him on the free agent market. The Wizards have the option on Howard’s $11.8 million salary for next year, and are almost certain not to pick that up. Negotiating a new deal while undergoing major knee surgery rehab that could cause you to miss the start of the season does not give you much negotiating leverage. Even for a guy who was an All-Star just three years ago. 

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