“Sometimes it’s just frustrating,” Brendan Haywood said in 2009, when Caron Butler hurt his knee. “It feels like we’re cursed.”
Sports fans in many cities probably agree. But D.C. sports fans who have lived through the Strasburg/Wall/RGIII trifecta over the past two seasons definitely do.
Turns out coaches are also getting on board.
“I obviously wasn’t feeling really good when I walked into the Verizon Center [Monday] night, the trainer comes up to me and says, We’ve got seven guys that can play,” Wiz coach Randy Wittman told LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan this week. “I was a little thrown back when Jordan Crawford, Nene, those guys were out. And I had to go to A.J. Price and Trevor Ariza, who weren’t really supposed to come back until Saturday — with the doctor’s clearance — and say, Can I get a few minutes from these guys? We’re down to seven guys.
“I’m still not able to play Nene like you would a normal player, a normal rotation of minutes, he’s still on a limited basis,” Wittman went on. “John Wall obviously is not back yet….I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on here in D.C., obviously with RGIII and all the injuries that we’ve had. What the heck’s in the water here?”
Then Chad Dukes pointed out that some fans were concerned that Wall is looking a bit plumper than usual, and asked if he was in game shape.
“No, he’s not where he should be,” Wittman acknowledged. “And it’s hard. If you broke your hand, you know what, then we should be a little bit concerned with where his conditioning’s at….But with his injury, he went so long where they just completely shut him down….He only gained about six or seven pounds more than he was prior to the injury. It’s going to be a process, obviously, getting back into shape.
“That’s one of the things I’ve got to be careful with in bringing him back, is understanding where he is from a conditioning standpoint,” Wittman went on. “That’s usually when hamstring pulls come or groin pulls come, because you’re not in the type of shape that you need to be in. It’s hard, you’ve got to watch what you eat, but still, if you don’t do anything as a professional athlete for six months, you’re gonna gain some weight.”