John Wall cleared to increase physical activity, eyes return
Updated 6:12 p.m.
The Wizards released a statement from Dr. David Altchek on Friday afternoon regarding the stress injury to John Wall's left knee patella. Wizards coach Randy Wittman was then placed in the situation of having to explain the vague medical update.
First, the doctor. “John’s examination today showed improvement in his stress injury that will allow him to begin ramping up his activity level," Altchek stated. "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.”
While "ramping up his activity level" sounds promising, without specifics on what Wall can actually do or when he might return to practice, we turned to the Wizards coach for clarity during his pre-game press conference before the Wizards host the Los Angeles Lakers (7:00 p.m., television coverage on Comcast SportsNet).
Diagnosed with the injury on Sept. 27, Wall has missed the first 19 games of the 2012-13 season. Originally projected for an eight-week absence, Wall's been sidelined now for 11 weeks. Wall and the team said the point guard will speak with the media about his status Monday following practice.
As for the doctor's report, "Good news," Wittman stated. "The doctor saw improvement and with the shot he got, after a couple of days here letting that take effect, he can ramp things up again."
There's that "ramp things up" phrase again. Does that mean Wall can return to practice. Coach?
Wittman: "Not practice. He's got to get out on the floor, not contact yet. We have to see how he responds to his activity as its ramped up."
How about a projection. Few days, a week, longer?
"I have no idea," Wittman continued. "The doctor knows that, he didn't give any kind of time frame. I can't, I wish I could give you that. it would help my mind."
Looking for more specifics on what Wall actually can do, a reporter asked Wittman if the speedy guard can run full speed and laterally. "Yeah," Wittman stated. "After three days, he'll go and do his things on the floor...we'll see where he is."
Where he is could obviously eventually mean many things, including not being able to play this season. So, any chance Wall won't play this this season, Wittman was asked.
"Where are you going with this," the coach barked. "I'm serious, I don't understand where you're going with this. You got the doctor's report, he's going to ramp up his activity, we're going to see where he's at. Enough of that."
End scene. From there the questions centered on the night's opponent, rookie Bradley Beal's improved play, etc, etc. Now we wait for Wall's turn at the mic on Monday.
Dr. Altchek also evaluated Trevor Booker, who has missed the last 10 games after straining his right knee on Nov. 19 vs. Indiana. According to the statement released by the team, the forward "will be scheduled for a PRP (platlet-rich plasma) shot and will remain out indefinitely as he continues his rehab process." Booker has averaged 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in nine games this season.