Guard still not expected back before December
Wizards point guard John Wall received a positive report after undergoing an MRI on Thursday morning on his ailing left knee.
Wall, out for the first three games with a stress injury on his patella, was expected to miss eight weeks when the issue was originally diagnosed in late September before training camp. He isn't expected to return until early December and has been extremely limited in practices to avoid causing a fracture of the bone.
The only prescription for Wall to avoid that worst-case scenario was rest. Surgery was not recommended. And so Thursday was an important step toward showing the Wizards that rest is actually helping.
|Bucks at Wizards|
|When » Friday, 7 p.m.|
|Where » Verizon Center|
|TV » CSN|
"Good. Positive," Washington coach Randy Wittman said when asked for a report on Wall's knee. "John went. MRI is improving. So everything is looking, going in the right direction. Big difference from the last one, showing the healing and everything."
Of course, that doesn't help the Wizards right now. The team is 0-3 after losing to Boston in overtime Wednesday night at TD Garden. The Wizards now prepare for back-to-back games this weekend -- at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and at the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. The Bucks are off to a 2-1 start and have a dynamic if undersized backcourt with guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
"They have two fantastic guards. They're both good scorers," Washington forward Chris Singleton said after a practice at Verizon Center on Thursday. "They have a stretch four [Ersan Ilyasova] that's becoming someone to reckon with."
Ilyasova is a fifth-year player out of Turkey who was a second-round pick in 2005. He played for Milwaukee briefly before landing a contract in Europe but eventually returned to the NBA in 2009 and is unheralded enough that Singleton apologized for not knowing the correct pronunciation of his name.
The Wizards need to figure out a way to start faster if they want to earn that first win of the season. For the third game in a row they fell behind early -- Boston took an 11-2 lead on Wednesday -- before fighting back. It would help, players said, if they would take the ball at opposing defenses more consistently -- especially if jump shots aren't falling early in games. Singleton noted that if Washington keeps falling behind, teams eventually are going to put it away early. So far, at least, the Wizards have managed to avoid that fate and given themselves a chance to win all three games.
"Just need to attack the basket more and stop looking for calls," rookie guard Bradley Beal said. "Just be aggressive. Sometimes the ref is going to call a foul, and sometimes he's not. We can't complain or cry about not getting calls. It's part of the game. I think sometimes we settle for too many jump shots when we can keep going to the paint."