John Wall speaks on his injury and possible return

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Sports,Pick and Roll,Craig Stouffer

The Wizards and their fans desperately need some good news. But getting some is never that simple. John Wall may have been cleared to resume physical activity after sitting out since September, but in his first session of the season with reporters, he didn’t exactly sound like he’s poised to provide the kind of miracle the Wizards need to turn their horrific 3-18 season around.

See for yourself with the highlights from his talk yesterday, which began with Wall immediately tempering expectations, reminding reporters that he’s still waiting for the swelling to subside from his latest Synvisc injection before he can do more than stand still on the court. At least he had a smile on his face: “I’m still waiting for my pain, swelling, to go down, to see what I can do on the court. But just trying to stay strong, but it’s more spirits when you have to opportunity to hear some type of good news, so. I got more like a smile on my face, a little bit.”

On when he can resume activity: “I don’t know. When the swelling get down, I’ll get back to doing it. I was kind of doing a little bit of shooting before some games, before I came back and got re-evaluated, so I’m just trying to wait and see what I can get back to doing.”

On how hard the past three months have been: “It’s been very tough for me, because I want to play basketball, you know what I mean. First time, I’ve really been injured, sitting out a long time. And I like the way that we had a lot of new guys added to the team, and I feel like our team was better, and we had a lot of goals set. And we’ve still got them set, but it’s tough when you got to sit there and watch and you can’t help out your team, and we out there giving it our all and playing hard every night, so I just wish I was there to help them go through the stuff that we’re going through.”

On the similarity of his injury with what happened to Blake Griffin, who suffered a broken kneecap that cost him his rookie season: “He broke his kneecap. I think mines was a stress fracture where I was in the beginning stage of breaking my knee cap. It was lucky I caught it before it broke and I would already know what my timetable was, of missing the whole season. And then I had a little bit of cartilage problem underneath my knee cap.”

On what happens once the swelling does go down, whether Wall’s return will go forward and he’ll make a comeback: “That’s a 50-50 chance you got. You never know how it’s going to go. Hopefully it heals the right way, and I’ve been doing the right things I’m supposed to do – just rest, do my exercises, try to stay in shape as best as possible but without going out and injuring myself and hurting myself for the rest of my career. I want to be out there and play basketball with my teammates, but I just got to make sure I’m fully healthy to do that.”

How Wall has been staying in shape: “I was running on the bike before. I was running on the alter G. those are the main things I was doing, swimming in the pool a little bit.”

Is there a timetable? “No, no timetable. Basically just to see how this shot goes, see if I can get back to ramping it up without having no pain, or pain, or soreness. If it clears from there, I can go anywhere from there.”

On whether there’s more pressure once he returns: “I don’t think I have to be heroic, but I’m still going to have to play at a certain time limit, if I come, whenever I come back, because I’m not going to be fully in the best of shape. And I’m not going to play 40 minutes a game, like I was used to doing. I think just being out there and lifting the spirits of my teammates, having one of their leader-s out there playing and just having another point guard there, makes the job a lot easier. It’s tough for us right now, because we have a couple of injuries but you can’t make excuses in this league, everybody is a professional. We’re doing a good job. We’re just trying to play hard and give ourselves a chance to win games.”

On feeling anger, frustration and more watching the Wizards struggle: “It’s all of it, but I still understand that things happen for a reason. I just feel like God is testing me to see how strong I am mentally. It’s tough for me because I want to be out there and play, but it’s tough just watching basketball when you can’t play. I don’t really know what to say.”

On the difference in the pain level now and back in September: “Before there was so much pain you couldn’t even run on it. I couldn’t stretch my leg out at one point. It’s been getting better. I just gotta take my time and see where it goes from there.”

On the biggest concern about coming back too early: “Going back to the beginning stage of breaking your kneecap, anything like that. It started off as a stress fracture. So you don’t want to go back and re-injure that and then miss a whole ‘nother… so I’m just trying to not think that far ahead. My fracture is already healed. It’s just the cartilage part that is left that I’m trying to get clear. I feel like the eight weeks I took was the time for my stress fracture to heal.”

The next step once swelling goes down: “Getting on the court, trying to work out, trying to run, trying to cut, trying to do those types of things. All I do is sit at home, watch basketball games, play my video games, sleep, hang out with my brother, my mom comes up with my nieces and nephews here and there just try to relax. I don’t really eat too much anyway, I just like chips. I like crab legs and seafood so that’s really what I’m eating most of the time unless my mom comes to town. [Then it is] whatever she cooks, southern food.”

Is there a temptation to say, “I can definitely be healthy if I sit out a full season”?: “I’m not thinking like that. Hopefully with the time I’ve taken off the and the shots I got and the treatment I’ve been getting is helping me get healthy so I can play basketball this season. You don’t want to miss a whole season. If it comes to it you have to but I’m trying not to think that far ahead.”

Was anything different in the summer workouts? “I did everything the same way. I switched different people but it wasn’t a different type of workout. Just playing basketball on the court and lifting weights, not really too much lower body. I think it just came from wear and tear.”

On Bradley Beal’s season so far: “It’s been tough from time to time. Every night’s not going to be a good night for a rookie. I think he’s learning the game better and better. Every day he’s trying to learn something new. If he’s not making his shot he gets frustrated like any shooter would do. We just tell him to keep shooting and being aggressive because that’s the player we need right now.”

On Wall’s thoughts when A.J. Price break his hand: “I can’t even tell you. Nothing’s been going the right way for us this year. We’ve had a lot of guys getting injured and we didn’t need something like this to happen. Sometimes you just have to deal with it.”

On what it will take for the Wizards to turn things around: “You gotta find a way to get a long winning streak, that’s the only way. You’ve got to take it game by game, but we’ve got to find a way to win probably eight, nine, 10 games in a row to at least get to four or five games away from .500.”

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