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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Wizards' Songaila to have surgery on herniated disc

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards forward Darius Songaila will have back surgery for a herniated disc and be sidelined up to three months.

"I am very disappointed that I will not be out there with my new teammates," Songaila said in a statement on Tuesday. "I plan to work hard and look forward to getting back on the court. Unfortunately, surgery is my best option at this time."

The 6-foot-9 Songaila was injured while playing for Lithuania's national team at the world championships in August. He was sidelined during the preseason and didn't see improvement in his condition.

"We tried a number of methods of treatment and rehabilitation but have been advised by our medical staff that the best course of action at this time is for Darius to have this injury surgically repaired," Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld said.

The Wizards travel to Cleveland for its season-opening game on Wednesday night.

Songaila was signed as a free agent this offseason after averaging a career-high 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 62 games for the Chicago Bulls last season.