WASHINGTON -- Though the news does not come as much of a surprise for a variety of reasons, Wizards point guard John Wall is expected to miss the rest of the 2019-20 regular season, according to general manager Tommy Sheppard.
While addressing Bradley Beal, Sheppard pointed out how Beal's life would be easier "when he gets John back next year." That prompted a follow-up and Sheppard explained why no one should expect Wall to play until the start of next season.
"I think we have maintained that all along. We didn't plan on seeing him this year. I think that's fair to John, to manage the expectations for him," Sheppard said. "He's on his way, but he's not there and he's not close yet. He's a lot closer than he was a year ago when the injury happened."
Wall, 29, had surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon on Feb. 12 of last year. The one-year anniversary of that procedure is next Wednesday.
Though the surgery generally includes an 11-to-15 month recovery, the Wizards have an incentive to be extra patient with him given he is due to make about $131 million over the next three seasons by way of a supermax contract.
They need to make sure Wall comes back healthy and that he is well-suited for the long-term. It is a similar plan the Mavericks followed with Kristaps Porzingis following his ACL tear in 2018.
The Wizards feel giving Wall extra time than usual is the best course to take.
"To play him before he's 100% and to have a setback that would affect next season is absolutely senseless," Sheppard said. "Why would we do that? Why would we do that for John?"
Roughly 20 months will have passed between NBA games for Wall when he takes the floor to begin the 2020-21 season. But as long as he makes a full recovery and reclaims his All-Star form, it will be well worth it in the Wizards' eyes.
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