John Wall has made progress in his recovery from a stress injury to his left patella and can increase his activity level, the Wizards announced after the star point guard visited with Dr. David Altchek, an orthopedic specialist, in New York on Friday. But there is still no timetable for his eventual return to the court.
“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 Wizards. “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 out of action since his injury was announced on Sept. 28, missing training camp, preseason and all 19 games of the season so far for the Wizards (3-16).
It’s hard to say exactly what it “ramping up” means. Prior to facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said it was “good news” but that Wall certainly wasn’t returning to full practice. When asked if it meant that Wall can run full speed and move laterally, he answered, “Yeah.”
All this ramping up will take place once Wall’s latest synvisc shot takes effect.
“He’s got to get back out now and get on the floor, no contact yet,” Wittman said. “We have to see how he responds to his activity as it’s ramped up… In three days, he’ll go out and do his things on the floor, and then we’ll see after doing that for a while where he is.”
The last time we talked about synvisc shots, it was last spring when Rashard Lewis was trying to get himself back on the floor. That didn’t go so well. Wall’s motivation is different, but Wittman got testy when a reporter asked if there was a chance that Wall wouldn’t return this season.
“Where are you going with this?” is a tad more confrontational than when I asked him the same question last week.
Meanwhile, the Wizards and Lakers will observe a moment of silence before the game for the horrific shooting in Connecticut on Friday morning.
After that, Washington will try not to be the team that allows Los Angeles to snap its four-game losing streak.
“We’ve got to understand where they’re at and the state of mind they’re in, obviously,” Wittman said. “But this is a game, if you have trouble getting up for these games, then you’ve got some troubles. We’ve got to play a good game, no question about, no matter what state they’re in. They still have the players on the floor that are capable of doing a lot of good things. We’re going to have to play a good level of basketball tonight, and when we do that, anything can happen.”
Wizards forward Trevor Booker also visited with Dr. Altchek for an examination of a troublesome right knee that has kept him out of action for the last 10 games. The Wizards said Booker (6.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg) “will be scheduled for a PRP shot and will remain out indefinitely.”