The Wizards still don’t have a definitive timeline for John Wall’s return, but Coach Randy Wittman is encouraged that his injured point guard has targeted a comeback some time next month and continues to make progress with his rehabilitation.
Wall was cleared to “ramp up” his level of activity on his troublesome left knee two weeks ago and Wittman said the former No. 1 overall pick was able to do five-on-none, “dummy,” offensive and defensive drills with the team for the first time during Thursday’s practice.
“That’s a step forward,” Wittman said. “Obviously, no contact still yet but he did full speed, up and down, with the dummy stuff we ran and that’s the first time he’s done that with the team. That’s a step in that direction.”
A stress injury in Wall’s left knee was diagnosed in late September, and he has been dealing with cartilage damage in recent weeks. But his knee appears to have responded after receiving his third Synvisc shot from noted orthopedic surgeon David Altchek on Dec. 14 in New York. Wittman said earlier this week that Wall has been able to move, cut and run without any discomfort.
“Obviously, we’re moving, to be quite honest with you, maybe even faster than I thought it would be after he went to Altchek to be where he is right now. Knock on wood,” Wittman said. “You always kind of worry. Sept 27 was the last time he physically really did anything. If I went out, and I haven’t done anything in years, and tried to do something, I’d have some swelling somewhere. You worry a little bit about that and if that happens we’ll slow down a little bit and don’t put the cart in front of the horse, but we haven’t had any of that so far, so we’re moving in the right direction.”
When asked about Wall possibly returning next month, Wittman said, “God, I hope so. I’m glad he’s thinking that.”