The Wizards (3-18) face the Atlanta Hawks (14-7) for the third time in four weeks tonight. They had their best rebounding game (58) and worst (32) in the first two meetings. They were also two different teams in those games, barely losing 101-100 in overtime but then getting beaten much more convincingly in the rematch by Atlanta, 104-95.
But that’s not the news you’re looking for. Here’s the latest on the Wizards’ injuries:
John Wall (stress reaction in left patella & cartilage problem behind the left patella) – Wall did not do anything on Tuesday even though Wizards coach Randy Wittman had said on Monday that there was a chance. Wall is still waiting for the latest of three Synvisc injections, which he received on Friday, to take effect. For now, his knee is still swollen.
Wittman was asked about the Wizards players’ reaction to the news about Wall’s injury.
“They’re on board with everything,” he said. “They understand where he’s at. I think they’ve been really supportive of him, trying to keep his spirits alive and pushing him along. He’s out there every day with them, and now he’ll travel with us, and hopefully he’ll be able to start doing some things, each day more and more.”
Trevor Booker (right knee strain) – Booker confirmed that he did receive a PRP shot on Monday, and that doctors have told him he can begin “ramping up” his activity in a week. Those were his words, obviously not a coincidence that he had visited the same doctor as Wall. Also like Wall, there’s not a timetable. Tonight will be Booker’s 13th straight missed game.
Nene (left foot plantar fasciitis) – The big Brazilian will play after sitting out the second leg of the Wizards’ most recent back-to-back set. Whether he’ll do the same tomorrow in Orlando may depend on how things go tonight.
Trevor Ariza (left calf strain) – Ariza was projected to be out for three weeks after collapsing on the court against Miami on Dec. 4. Wittman said last week that Ariza wasn’t suffering from the same kind of swelling that plagued Kevin Seraphin during a similar injury in preseason, and under different circumstances, he might be on pace to return sooner rather than later. Washington’s crowded schedule could prevent that.
“Ariza’s getting better, moving in the right direction,” Wittman said. “With four games in five nights, I don’t know if we’ll see him in this particular stretch. With that injury you want to get him out on the practice floor, let him run, see where he is, just don’t throw him out on a game day as a first response. We don’t have any practice time for this next week. But he’s doing more things, shooting on the floor now, doing a little jogging. He’s really progressing.”