By: Joe Cardoso
The Washington Wizards have been a tease for Washington D.C. area sports fans. From the years of Chris Webber and Juwan Howard to Gilbert Arenas and Antawan Jamison. Always a play or key player away from taking that next step, or in classic DC sports style players are great when they leave. For the Washington Wizards, we got the number one pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and they selected a point guard from the University of Kentucky named John Wall. He was lighting quick, super aggressive and left it all on the floor. Like most cities, we DMV folks love a guy who just brings his hard hat to work. Early Wall couldn’t shoot very well early on his career but he worked at it and it improved.
Along with Bradley Beal, the two formed an exciting young backcourt duo and had the league on notice. I still have my house of guards t-shirt and was drowning in the kool-aid that we had something special here. But it’s 5-on-5 basketball and the other parts didn’t match up all that well. Never the less it all started and ended with Wall he was on a national stage and moving the entire franchise with him. But then the injuries started and they weren’t all just bumps and bruises.
Sept. 28, 2012 – Diagnosed with a non-traumatic stress injury in his left knee during pre-season. Missed the first 33 games of the season – Wizards were 5-28 during that stretch.
May 3, 2015 – Injures left wrist and hand in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Atlanta Hawks. He had five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist/hand, missed three games in the series.
Dec. 6, 2015 – Banged his right knee in a game against the Dallas Mavericks. X-rays were negative, but Wall revealed that he was dealing with a bruise on the same knee prior to the injury. Did not miss any direct time.
Apr. 6, 2016 – Wall listed as questionable with a sore right knee. Missed two games before being shut down with the team out of post-season contention. In total, he missed five games.
May 5, 2016 – Undergoes a procedure on both of his knees. His left was to ‘excise calcific deposits’ to ease the pain and his right was to remove ‘loose bodies.’
Apr. 10, 2017 – Misses two games at the end of the season due to a quad injury. Both games were for ‘rest’ because the Wizards were already locked into the No. 4 seed for the playoffs.
Nov. 5, 2017 – Wall listed with right shoulder soreness, misses one game.
Nov. 16, 2017 –MRI after left knee discomfort. He received PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections to reduce inflammation and missed nine games from Nov. 23 to Dec. 13.
Jan. 30, 2018 – Consulted with knee specialist and will have a procedure on his left knee to ‘cleanup’ the area and ease the pain. Expected to miss six to eight weeks after already missing a game.
Dec. 29, 2018 – Wall sees a specialist to deal with reoccurring pain in his left heel, decides to have surgery to fix his discomfort. It is expected that he will miss 6-8 months, ending his season. Before the announcement of the injury, Wall missed four games in a four-week span.
Feb. 5, 2019 – Wizards to announce that Wall will have surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.
NOTE: This is not an all-encompassing list, some injuries were not included based on time missed, severeness of injury, and history. All injuries and injury updates listed are from RotoWorld.com.
This latest injury is one that for fans and management on their toes and worried what type of effect it will have on the All-Star guard. He isn’t the first NBA player to suffer a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. For any athlete that depends in large part to explosiveness and quickness, this can force a serious change on how you play the game. Some of the notable players who suffered the same injury are:
Most of the players on this list were on their last leg of those careers and one would assume the rehab alone took a toll on them. The one name that sticks out to me is Dominique Wilkins because when he comeback at age 32 it was with a vengeance and he averaged 28 points per game and 7 rebounds. Everyone’s body and competitiveness is different, but Wall is young and hungry for greatness. History shows he won’t just collect a check and dress nicely to games. For the Wizards franchise, this is one of those moments that will shape them for the next 5-8 years. With $19 million in the bank this year and $38, $41, $47 MILLION the next 3 years. You won’t find many or any teams who will take on that salary with a player who may not be the same as he was in the past.
A couple of things I see in his favor are his age at 28 he still has good years ahead of him. He was starting to really become a solid shooter and if his fast ain’t fair days are behind him he can adapt his games and figure out how to be effective. A lot of us DC sports fans just figure this is the DC sports curse showing is ugly head because lord knows we can’t have nice things. A huge part of this is his mental makeup how will he approach his rehab and the fact that he won’t be 2014 John Wall again. Not having Wall Star on the floor this season hurts, but I have faith he will be back and leading this team to the next phase. This is a true fork in the road of John Wall career and the next turn will be the most important one yet.