Shortly after John Wall said he is ready to lead the Wizards into the playoffs, the club announced the star guard will be sidelined about eight weeks with a stress injury to his left knee cap.
In all likelihood, the injury will keep Wall out of the Wizards lineup until after Thanksgiving.
Wizards president and general manager Ernie Grunfeld made the announcement, describing Walls injury as the early stages of a stress injury to his left patella. No surgery will be necessary, and Walls rehab will begin immediately, the Wizards said in a release.
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, Wall said in the statement. 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 Thursday 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.
Wall, who led the Wizards in scoring last season by averaging 16.3 points per game, made an appearance at Simon Elementary School in Southeast Washington Friday morning refrained from participating in outdoor physical activities, saying the grass was too slippery and that he was saving himself for training camp, which begins on Tuesday at George Mason University.
If Wall returns on schedule at or around Nov. 24, he would miss all eight of the Wizards preseason games and at least 10 regular season games.
Were all disappointed for John after how hard he worked this summer and how excited he was to begin training camp, Grunfeld said. 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.
In the meantime, we're confident that theversatility and depth of our team will help us move forward and continue the positive momentum that we've seen over the past several months.
Before the club announced the injury, Wall said he was looking forward to beginning his third season in Washington and the pressures that come along with it.
For us to take that next step it will be on me, he said. Im the leader on this team. Im not saying I have to go out there and do everything every night. I have pieces to help me out, but I want to be the leader and let guys know Im willing to do whatever it takes to take that next step.
When you get drafted first overall its to come in and change the program around, change the organization around. Try to win games, be a playoff team and contend for an NBA championship. Thats something I want to do. I didnt come here just to play basketball and be satisfied at being in the NBA I came here to achieve things and reach my goals with the team and with my own self. I havent reached any of those yet, so Im still going.