Wizards

Wizards

WASHINGTON -- The Mystics' Game 1 win vs. the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night brought nearly the entire Wizards roster out to St. Elizabeth's to sit courtside and cheer on their Monumental Basketball comrades. That included an appearance from John Wall, who caught up with NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller to give the latest update on his long recovery from a ruptured left Achilles tendon.

Wall says the latest milestone has been shooting jumpers.

"I'm great, man. Just rehabbing, working out and lifting weights. I'm shooting some jumpshots, doing some ball-handling and stuff like that," he said.

Wall didn't go into detail about how strenuous those jumpshots are. Given he still has months to go before he returns to game action, it's probably very light on-court work. He's likely not shooting stepbacks and runners in the lane.

But still, that's a significant step in the right direction for Wall, who had surgery on Feb. 12, just over seven months ago. He is considered likely to be out at least 12 months and could miss all of next season. Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis said in July that Wall would "probably" be sidelined for all of the 2019-20 campaign.

Wall reiterated to NBC Sports Washington that he won't rush back, even if that means sitting out the entire year when the usual rehab timeline for his injury would have him back on the floor sometime between mid-January and the end of the season.

 

"I understand because I've played through injuries before that if I try to come back too soon or too fast, I could be hurt and have to start all over again. I'm not trying to go through that process again, so I'm finally taking my baby steps," he said.

Some other highlights of Wall's check-in included his plans to mentor rookie Rui Hachimura and his detailed thoughts on the Mystics' title hopes. On Hachimura, he said he wants to take the ninth overall pick under his wing.

"I'm gonna help him a lot. I just kind of got a flow going with him because he got back yesterday. He was over [in China] playing in the World Cup. It was great to see him get that experience and have some fun. Now, I'm here so I can be around him a lot and be in the locker room with him and talk to him. I'm gonna take him to a couple of dinner spots he doesn't know about yet. Just try to pick his brain and help him along the way as much as possible," Wall said.

When discussing the Mystics, Wall showed he has been following their success closely over the past calendar year.

"I think they have the best chance to win [the WNBA title]," he said.

"You've gotta give a lot of credit to players like Natasha Cloud and [Ariel] Atkins. I think those two girls really developed their game and improved from last year, being in the position that they were in. Then, I think they added Emma [Meesseman]. She is a big key of their team with all the other pieces they already had. [Elena] Delle Donne, the MVP, and [LaToya] Sanders and those other [players] do their roles, but I think having Emma will really be able to help."

Wall said Meesseman would be an X-factor midway through the game. She ended up with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.

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