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When will Markieff Morris return to Wizards? Plus, John Wall on the All-Star Game

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When will Markieff Morris return to Wizards? Plus, John Wall on the All-Star Game

Here are the highlights from Wednesday's Wizards practice...

Morris still not with the team

One day after he and his brother were acquitted of assault charges in an Arizona courtroom, Markieff Morris was not with the Wizards as they practiced at Capital One Arena. The Wizards expect Morris to make his return to the team some time this week, as early as Thursday. The Wizards play their second preseason game on Friday night at home against the New York Knicks.

Morris won't be participating in that game anyways due to his recovery from sports hernia surgery. He is expected to miss several weeks of the regular season, which begins on Oct. 18. Still, the Wizards want to get him back as soon as possible.

"It's great, that's my guy," John Wall said of Morris' acquittal. "I talked to him afterwards. I told him congratulations to him and his brother. Now, get his butt back to D.C. I'm glad it's over and he can focus on basketball and try to get healthy and be back with the team."

Head coach Scott Brooks left Morris a voicemail, but hadn't heard back from the power forward as of Wednesday afternoon. Brooks expects Morris to spend some time with his family first before arriving in Washington. Morris' first child was born just weeks before the trial.

Brooks said the Wizards linked Morris up with a group of specialists in Phoenix to help aid his recovery. They hope to have him with the Wizards' medical staff and around his teammates soon.

"It's always important for him to be around with all of our guys. That's the tough thing about injuries, you feel left out," Brooks said. "He's quiet, but he has a voice with our guys. he has that calming influence and that toughness. When he speaks, players listen."

The Wizards have been exploring their options to replace Morris in the lineup while he's out through training camp and now one preseason game. It will come down to Jason Smith, Mike Scott or Chris McCullough, but the plans could center around Otto Porter playing some power forward in small-ball lineups. Brooks said the process remains ongoing.

Wall reacts to new All-Star Game format

The NBA's announcement of a new All-Star Game format could affect Wall very directly, as Wall has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons. No longer will the East play the West. Now captains will pick teams playground style.

Wall didn't have much to say when asked for his reaction to the news, but does think it will be good for the league.

"Trying something new I think will be exciting for the fans to see. It's great. It's like when the lockout was happening, people were going to different charity games and playing. It could turn out to be something like that and be a lot of fun," he said.

And like most basketball fans, he's all for the drama that could come out from captains picking teams.

"You could have players that are captains and might not like players on other teams, so they won't pick them," he said with a smile.

Wall is big in China

After the Wizards beat the Guangzhou Long-Lions in their preseason game on Monday, several members of the Long-Lions showed up in the Wizards' locker room afterwards. They all wanted to meet Wall. 

"Just about every player came to the locker room," Wall said. "They took pictures and some of them got some autographs. It was just like their shoot around shirts and shirts they had on. Stuff like that."

Though Wall didn't play in the game, clearly the Long-Lions players were excited to see him.

Injury updates

Tim Frazier didn't practice due to his groin strain and may not practice on Thursday. Devin Robinson remains out with a stress fracture in his left foot. Both he and Frazier were limited to light shooting work. 

Sheldon Mac remains sidelined with a jammed left thumb. Brooks described Mac as "much better" one day later and said he could be cleared for contact on Thursday. Unfortunately for Mac, there is competition at his position now with veterans Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan in house. Mac had a strong game on Monday, but certainly wants to get back as soon as possible.

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Bradley Beal loves Sixers' Joel Embiid's trash-talking, just don't try it on the Wizards

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USA Today Sports Images

Bradley Beal loves Sixers' Joel Embiid's trash-talking, just don't try it on the Wizards

There may not be another athlete, regardless of sport, that is as good at social media as Sixers center Joel Embiid. It's partly why he has become so popular among fans and media despite only having 31 NBA games under his belt.

It has apparently even earned him a nickname as the 'Social Media King.' 

Everyone seems to be laughing, expect Heat center Hassan Whiteside perhaps. Embiid and Whiteside have been in an on-court and off-court beef for a while now. Last year Embiid called Whiteside "BBQ chicken" after one matchup, suggesting he 'cooked' him. Whiteside also made headlines for suggesting Embiid's social media prowess earned him All-Star votes.

[RELATED: PODCAST - MEEKS ON WALL'S RECRUITING VISIT]

After a matchup between the two this preseason, Whiteside tweeted his team's record against Embiid's Sixers. So, Embiid fired back with a series of tweets, some of which were hilarious:

The Wizards host the Sixers for the regular season opener on Wednesday and, with Embiid's social media antics in the news, Bradley Beal was asked for his opinion after Monday's practice. He's amused.

"Jo-Jo is my boy. I like Jo-Jo. We have the same trainer and work out in the summers. That was crazy. That was really crazy. He was letting his feelings be known," Beal said. 

"But I like it, it keeps guys competitive. Same with Whiteside. I think that's what we need a little bit. I don't think there is necessarily going to be any fighting or any hands thrown or anything like that. It's a competition thing. Who is the better big and who is going to prove it?"

Beal enjoys Embiid's trash-talking from afar and considers him a friend. Just don't bring that stuff to D.C.

"When he plays us, we're going to try to shut him down as best as we can. We aren't trying to hear none of that talking and I'm gonna let him know about it, too," he said.

Markieff Morris may be out, but the Wizards have plenty of players who won't back down to trash-talking, Beal included.

[RELATED: HOW WILL WIZARDS GUARD BEN SIMMONS?]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 44 - Jodie Meeks on meshing with Wizards, John Wall's recruiting visit

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NBC Sports Washington

Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 44 - Jodie Meeks on meshing with Wizards, John Wall's recruiting visit

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman personal injury lawyers, Wizards shooting guard Jodie Meeks joined the show to talk about his first month with the Wizards.

Meeks was signed this offseason as a free agent, but already feels comfortable playing with Tim Frazier, John Wall and Bradley Beal. Speaking of Wall, Meeks recalled first meeting him and what it was like to host Wall on his recruiting visit at Kentucky.

After the Meeks interview, host Chase Hughes broke down why Carrick Felix made the final roster spot. Plus, an update on Markieff Morris and what the Wizards are planning to do with Mike Young and Devin Robinson.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

[RELATED: 10 QUESTIONS WITH BRADLEY BEAL]