John Wall and the Wizards received some good news on Friday after his visit with orthopedic specialist David Altchek showed that his left knee is getting better and he can increase his level of basketball activity.
“John’s examination today showed improvement in his stress injury that will allow him to begin ramping up his activity level,” Altchek said in a statement released by the team. “There is still some irritation in the knee which we have treated over his last several visits with a series of three lubricating Synvisc injections, the last of which was given today. He will continue to be evaluated on an ongoing basis.”
Wall has been sidelined since late September, when Altchek discovered the early stages of a non-traumatic stress injury in the left patella. The team announced that he would miss “approximately” eight weeks, but the injury has kept him inactive for 11 weeks. There no longer is a timetable for his return.
The Wizards, who host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, have gone 3-16 in the absence of Wall. They also recently lost his backup, A.J. Price, to a broken hand.
Wall has career averages of 16.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds in his first two seasons with the Wizards. After not making any significant progress in his second campaign, Wall used his first normal offseason to focus on his weaknesses and enhancing his strengths.
He worked on his shooting form with former Wizards and current New York Knicks assistant Dave Hopla, helped the U.S. Olympic team prepare for a week in Las Vegas as a member of the Team USA select team, and hired famed trainer Rob McClanaghan, who had assisted Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love on their ascensions to all-star status.
“I just felt it was a great chance to try something different,” Wall said back in September and was hopeful that he would “see if it will all pay off.”
Forward Trevor Booker also visited with Altchek after missing the past 10 games with a strained right knee. Booker has been scheduled for a platelet-rich plasma shot and will remain out indefinitely.