John Wall's annual school backpack giveaway to local kids through his family's foundation came with a new question. Nothing about the smiling faces walking away with gear and the memory of meeting an NBA star. Rather, this question is about the status of the Washington Wizards point guard's surgically repaired knees.
The basic report: The forecast is sunny, but a cloud remains over whether Wall will be ready for the Oct. 27 regular season opener at Atlanta.
"Everything is going great," the point guard said as he took a break from hosting duties at Malcolm X Elementary School in the Southeast section of Washington. "I just came from the doctor. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I'm in no rush. I'm just taking it day by day and I hope I'm ready for the opening of the season."
Wall played through pain for large chunk of the 2015-16 season as the Wizards battled for a playoff spot. As that hope faded but the pain did not, the three-time All-Star was shut down. Wall had procedures on both knees following the end of the season. Since then, there's been plenty of rehab. That part of his journey is part of an upcoming documentary about the point guard, Wall said,
"It's all up to me. I'm going two times a day. Tackling it the best way I can. I'm tackling it like the way I play in a basketball game. That's trying to do the best I can, getting stronger, making sure I don't have the same problems down the road in my career," he said. I think I'll be fine."
Wall, who walked without any kind of brace, said he's running and jumping, but still hasn't gotten back on the court. Playing one-on-one is an upcoming goal.
What's truly on deck is a second straight minicamp among the players in Los Angeles from Monday thru Thursday. Wall said he organized the event as he did last year. All teammates are expected except for international centers Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi.
Wall also played a leading role in organizing his foundation and these events, including one that took place earlier this summer in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina,
"I don't have to do it. I'm not forced to be here," Wall said. "I do it because I love to be involved and interact with the kids. My mom raised me that way."
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