Storyline: John Wall Injury

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What about the other scenario, with the Heat taking on both Wall and Beal with the understanding that Miami wouldn’t need to give up nearly as much quality in return? As we reported in early July, that scenario has been seriously discussed inside the Heat and there’s sentiment to do that, because of how much the Heat loves Beal and because of the internal belief that Miami can get Wall back to All-Star level following his ruptured Achilles, which is expected to sideline him this upcoming season.

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Durant’s familiarity and comfort level with the Nets medical staff was a major determining factor in him ultimately signing a deal to come to Brooklyn. While most critics are scoffing at the thought of Durant seeing the hardwood this upcoming season, according to Weinfeld, Durant’s chances are exceedingly better than that of injured Wizards star John Wall’s. “A point guard plays a different kind of game than Kevin Durant does,” noted Dr. Weinfeld. “An explosive type athlete, his demand is different than that of Kevin Durant’s. You talk about odds of coming back to where he was, I think Durant’s odds are better than an athlete like John Wall whose whole game is quickness and explosiveness. He [Wall] counts much more on those muscles being exactly where they need to be as opposed to a player like Durant and his style.

While many expect not to see either Wall or Durant until the 2020-2021 season, Dr. Weinfeld is confident that Durant can return to the player fans saw lead the Warriors to two championships, three straight finals appearances, and dominate the NBA as a two-time Finals MVP and league MVP. “I think he’ll probably be somewhere between 90 and 100 percent,” stated Dr. Weinfeld. “That’s my thought assuming everything goes smoothly and he doesn’t have any setbacks I think you can expect somehwere in the 90 to 100 percent range.”

But on Monday night, Wall, standing upright and looking trim in a pink suit jacket, shared an updated timeline for his rehabilitation. “I’m about to start jogging in like two weeks,” he told NBC Sports Washington on the red carpet of the NBA Awards show in Santa Monica, Calif. “Just riding the bike,” Wall said, describing his current workload. “I get to do exercises standing up now, so I don’t have to sit down. I’m able to move, do ladder steps, doing those types of things.”

With that in mind, Leonsis is taking the long view. He wants Wall and the Wizards to get his rehab right, no matter how long it takes. “John understands his commitment will show from this rehab,” Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast. “If it takes the whole season, we don’t care. We are not putting pressure on you on a time. “Make sure that you are rehabilitating in the right way so that when you do come back, you don’t have that little voice in your head [saying] ‘did I do everything the right way to be able to come back and be a great, great player?'”

From a distance, Arenas has watched as Wall has endured multiple knee surgeries and, now, a pair of Achilles surgeries that ended his 2018-19 season and could end his 2019-20 season before it begins. He knows Wall. He knows the franchise. He knows the fans. And he knows the media pressure and inevitable story lines. His message to Wall, who inherited the Wizards from him as the top pick in the 2010 draft, is this: The prospect of another long-term rehabilitation might be excruciating and the injuries might require adjustments, but your career isn’t over. “John Wall is still going to be a valuable point guard,” Arenas said, by phone from Las Vegas where he attended the Big 3 draft Wednesday. “He will still have his IQ. His speed is going to be there. He might lose some jumping ability. He’s still going to be better than above-average, better than Ricky Rubio and Lonzo Ball. Why do people want to get rid of him? For what? A lesser player? Because that’s what you’re going to get.”

A person close to Wall said this injury, dismaying as it is, is what he probably needed to “grow up” some more. Nothing like the prospect of facing basketball mortality to inspire some maturity. Wall said he’s spent his time away from the game to enjoy the time he gets to share with his infant son, Ace. He’s also gained a greater appreciation for the game and what it has provided for him and his family. And, he’s been bathing in the words of his detractors. “Just hearing what people say, that just keeps my fuel going,” Wall said. “I read all the articles. It’s over. His career is over. All that type of stuff. So, it’s fun for me.”

John Wall has a history of trying to play through pain. His latest setback is forcing the Washington Wizards guard to take a different approach. “I guess God is telling me something,” Wall said Friday night about the ruptured Achilles tendon that will force him to miss at least the majority of the 2019-20 season. “To sit down and get yourself fully healthy. I’ve played through injuries my whole career. I know a lot of people who played through injuries and don’t sit down. That’s one thing I don’t like to do. If something that’s nagging or not broken, I want to play. I guess it kind of caught up to me.”

But Wall, whose $170 million “supermax” contract extension kicks starting next season, is optimistic about his future. “All the people that talk negative like ‘You’re not coming back,’ that just motivates me even more,” Wall said. Wall suffered the Achilles injury after slipping and falling at home. “I understand I had an infection and getting off antibiotics, I felt like something wasn’t going right,” Wall said. “I slipped, but I don’t think that’s the main reason. … My pain was still the same. I didn’t have discomfort.”

He hasn’t yet spoken with reporters since the team announced his surgery, but the press release stated that Wall suffered the ruptured Achilles “slipping and falling in his home.” Dr. Douoguih said on the conference call that the slip occurred while getting into the shower Jan. 29. Wall informed Douoguih about the fall, but doctors didn’t realize he had ruptured the Achilles in the moment. Douoguih discovered it Monday while performing an exploratory surgery to treat an infection that resulted from the initial surgery to remove the bone spurs, which Wall underwent on Jan. 8.

Wall, who already had season-ending surgery on his left heel on Jan. 8, will be sidelined for about the next 12 months after rupturing his left Achilles tendon on Tuesday. The Wizards said that Wall slipped and fell at his home last week. So, Cousins spoke with Wall on Tuesday morning. “It sucks. It’s unfortunate,” said Cousins who injured his left Achilles tendon last season with the New Orleans Pelicans. “But me knowing John as well as I do, I know he’ll overcome this. There’s no doubt in my mind about that. He’s overcome a lot more obstacles in his life. Just add this to the list.”

Fred Katz: John Wall did not practice today, per Scott Brooks. Brooks said he’s feeling better with his illness (he was under the weather yesterday and missed shootaround because of it) but sat because of the bone spurs that have been bugging him. Wall’s status is uncertain for tomorrow.
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August 18, 2019 | 7:41 pm EDT Update