Wizards point guard John Wall called his upcoming absence because of a left knee injury “a minor setback.” Team president Ernie Grunfeld labeled it “a bump in the road.”
However it’s described, Wall is expected to miss the 1st dozen or so games of the NBA’s regular season after the Wizards expounded Friday that their best player — the No. One overall pick in the 2010 draft — was diagnosed with the early stages of a stress injury to his left knee cap.
The Washington Wizards said the injury doesn’t require surgery. If his rehabilitation goes as expected, Wall will be sidelined for about 2 months in all, including about the 1st month of the regular season, which starts Oct. 30 for Wizards.
Wall asserted he “started feeling discomfort” about a month back, and he got an MRI examination that Grunfeld related didn’t show any sort of problem. But Wall still was bothered by his knee while working out and went for a 2nd opinion.
He was examined Thursday in New York by orthopedic expert Dr. David Altchek, and a new MRI revealed the injury.
“Just something that happens when you work out very hard; that’s all I can say,” Wall said.
“It’s very tough for me,” Wall added.
He led the Washington Wizards by averaging 16.3 points and 8 helps last season. He also topped the team with 95 steals and averaged 4.5 rebounds.
The Wizards finished 20-46 during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, 2nd worst in the league.
“The great point about this is that we caught it when we did. It is not going to be a best-case scenario, but we also have to look at this in a good way. … My expectations of what John can do this year, it being his 3rd year, is not going to modify. He’s just going to start a little later,” Washington coach Randy Wittman recounted. “We were lucky that we came and saw it before there was any type of fracture or anything of that nature.”
The Wizards open training camp Tuesday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. They also expect to be without their 2nd best player, Nene, for most of training camp. He has a foot injury.
Until Wall can return to action, he announced, “I’m going to try to be there and be a coach and a mentor.”
But he also pointed out that he wants to “make sure I don’t rush back.”
To help fill the void, the Wizards agreed to terms with vet guard Jannero Pargo on Monday. He averaged 5.6 points per game last season for the Atlanta Hawks, his 5th team in an 8-year career. NFL lines
“We have a deep roster at this time, and we’ve got a lot of players at a lot of different positions,” Grunfeld asserted. “We have players that may pick up the slack, and it is not going to be up to one player.”
And, as Wittman noted: “Clearly, we’re going to miss John.”