|Wall will miss around eight weeks with a knee injury. (Getty Images)|
The injury won't require surgery but will keep Wall out at least the first month of the regular season. It's a devastating blow to a team looking to make significant strides this season after remaking the roster with veterans Nene, Emeka Okafor, and Trevor Ariza. Wall was the centerpiece of the plan, with the idea that his struggles could be resolved with a better supporting cast. Now he's dealing with a stress injury in his leg that will no doubt require time to get back up to speed even when he's able to see the floor again.
Wall averaged 16.3 points and 8 assists last season for the Wizards but also had a 19.2 percent turnover rate and shot just 42 percent from the field. The Wizards might also be without Nene to begin the season. A season with high expectations is off to a pretty terrible start before a single game is played.
From the Wizards' official statement:
“My teammates and I are all excited to build on the improvement we made at the end of last season, and I know they will continue to make great progress while I get through this setback,” said Wall. “I will work extremely hard to make sure I get back as soon as possible so I can re-join them and help our team continue to improve."
Wall was examined yesterday in New York by orthopedic specialist Dr. David Altchek after experiencing discomfort in his left knee and underwent an MRI that revealed the early stages of a non-traumatic stress injury.
"We're all disappointed for John after how hard he worked this summer and how excited he was to begin training camp, but we feel fortunate that we caught the injury early and that he will be able to return with the vast majority of the season still in front of us," said (Wizards president Ernie) Grunfeld. "In the meantime, we're confident that the versatility and depth of our team will help us move forward and continue the positive momentum that we've seen over the past several months."
You have to wonder if Washington will hit the trade market. Can the Wizards risk starting the year in a one-month hole?