John Wall to visit doctor, no target for return

November 7, 2012

John Wall, right, has tried to help mentor teammates such as rookie Bradley Beal while sidelined with a knee injury. (Johnathan Newton/The Washington Post)

John Wall plans to visit a doctor in Washington on Thursday to get an update on the stress injury in his left knee. Wall found out about the problem five weeks ago, when he visited orthopedic specialist David Altchek in New York and the Wizards projected that he would miss at least eight weeks.

He isn’t expected to return until close to December, and while those close to him have hoped that he could return by Nov. 30 in New York, Wall said he doesn’t have a scheduled return in his mind.

“No target at all,” Wall said, shaking his head. “No. I wish I did.”

Wall remains limited to stretching and shooting jumpers while standing still as he recovers, but he doesn’t want to rush back and aggravate the injury, especially with Altchek warning him of the risk of a stress fracture without the appropriate rest.

“I learned my first year to listen to my body more than my heart,” Wall said. “I came back injured but I still came back okay, but I didn’t come back the way I wanted to. I know to take my time this time.

“Not playing basketball, period, is tough,” Wall said. “This is my first time really being out for a long time and not being able to come back. Especially when you start with new coaches, new team, so many guys new, it’s pretty tough, but it’s something you’ve got to deal with and take your time and come back healthy.”

Wall has spent his time offering support for his teammates on the bench, serving as a pseudo-assistant coach and patiently waiting for his chance to contribute on the floor with them. He maintains high expectations for what he can accomplish this season.

“I don’t like to tell my goals. I like to kind of keep them to myself,” Wall said. “I go to the doctor tomorrow and see where my process is going, so just take my time and wait and see.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee | November 7, 2012