John Wall will miss his fourth consecutive game when the Washington Wizards host the Detroit Pistons Friday night. It remains unclear how long the four-time All-Star will remain sidelined with his current knee injury -– and if the Wizards can maintain a winning record without him. The point guard is doing all he can to hustle his way back.
“I'm great. I'm doing good,” Wall said Friday afternoon in his first public comments since undergoing injections to help relieve inflammation in his left knee on Nov. 25. “Just taking it day-by-day and getting treatment every day, walking on the (anti-gravity treadmill) and doing light jogging. I'm doing good.”
The Wizards (11-10) haven’t been so good without the point guard, who last played in the Nov. 22 overtime loss at Charlotte. They have lost two of three since Wall sat and are 2-3 this season without him.
The initial timeline offered by the team suggested Wall is expected to miss approximately two weeks. That scenario would have him back during the upcoming five-game road trip with the Dec. 9 matchup at the Los Angeles Clippers the projected target date.
One of the NBA leaders in assists passed on offering his own return date.
“I kind of really don't know yet. I'm just taking it day-by-day and listening to what the doctors are saying. I'm getting another checkup today with the doctors, so I'll see where I stand,” he said.
Before receiving the injections, Wall complained of knee discomfort and specified fluid build-up on knee stemming from an IV received Nov. 11 to deal with illness and migraines ahead of a home game against Atlanta. The team later announced knee-to-knee contact suffered Nov. 7 against Dallas as the original source of pain.
“I remember getting hit and I had a little bruise on the inside,” Wall said. “It was sore, but I didn't think it was the reason why. It kind of went away and died down, but I was playing more and then it swelled up.”
After sitting out the Nov. 19 matchup at Toronto, Wall played his usual role in games at Milwaukee and Charlotte. He had 31 points and 11 assists in 41 minutes against the Hornets, but signs of a larger picture became obvious.
“After the game I was with a couple of my friends. My agent said I was limping throughout the game,” Wall said. “I didn’t even notice it. The adrenaline, going through the game, being back home in front of family. It was like, alright, you need to do something about it. We talked, figured out what it was. After the Charlotte game I could barely walk. … My knee was swelling up even more. They were like we have to do something about it. I agreed to it.”
The Wizards continue working on a plan to thrive without their floor leader. With Tim Frazier starting for Wall, they overcame a slow start for a win at Minnesota Tuesday, but they couldn’t recover from a 24-point deficit in Wednesday’s 118-113 loss at Philadelphia.
“It’s a lot different when I’m not there,” Wall said. “I tell those guys let Tim push the pace. It’s a lot different. I know nobody can be me, but they can be themselves and try to help the team win. We’re doing a good job of getting good shots. We’re just not making some of them.”