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Tommy Sheppard: Wizards are 'not in a rush' with John Wall's return

Tommy Sheppard: Wizards are 'not in a rush' with John Wall's return

The 2019-20 Wizards have been equal parts fun and absurd, but the general understanding is that this team is building for the future. 

And one of the biggest question marks moving forward is the long-term health of John Wall, who will most likely miss the entire season to fully recover from Achilles surgery.

When you see videos of him, it's hard to see why Wall is so far away from a return to the floor. However, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard talked to Chris Miller before the Wizards' loss to the Jazz Sunday to update us on his progress and what the organization's mindset is regarding the five-time All-Star's return. 

"We're not going to skip steps, we're not going to get excited about 3-on-3," Sheppard said. "Down the road, I think we'll start to add more players to the court and make it feel more like home, but we're not in a rush to see John come back unless he's 100 percent healthy."

Chase Hughes reported earlier this week how Wall participated in 3-on-3 drills with the Wizards' player development staff. It was a major milestone in his recovery as he reached the 11-month anniversary of his surgery. 

Brooks told reporters Friday how Wall -- and assistant coach/Mystics star Kristi Toliver -- looked great in those drills. 

When you more than an entire season to injury, it's hard to get your feel back on the floor. Your timing is off, simple reads you used to make are a temporarily more difficult and it may take a while before Wall gets back to his former self. 

Gordon Hayward dealt with it last season and Isaiah Thomas is suffering from similar issues with the Wizards this year. Playing against other people is the best form of recovery, especially for Wall when he progresses to playing 5-on-5. 

"The best thing about the 3-on-3 is that he realizes how much more he has to do," he said. "The rust is there, but I tell you what, it warms the heart to see him out there between the lines."

As the Wizards navigate this season with a hilariously unpredictable bunch that has been dubbed "The most fun bad team in basketball," Wall's recovery remains the linchpin for this team's contention window. 

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Elena Delle Donne has successful surgery, should be ready for 2020 season

Elena Delle Donne has successful surgery, should be ready for 2020 season

Elena Delle Donne had successful surgery to repair three herniated discs in her back, the team announced on Wednesday.

The "minor surgery" took place on Friday, Jan. 24 and was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas, Texas. Delle Donne's timetable is unknown but will be reevaluated around the Mystics training camp in May. She is anticipated to be available for the season opener on May 16.

The Mystics forward suffered the injury during the WNBA Finals. After only playing in the opening minutes of Game 2, she missed the rest of the game. An MRI revealed that she had a herniated disc in her back. It was her third injury in all of her three WNBA Finals appearances.

Still, through the pain, the 2019 WNBA MVP helped her team win their first title. 

Once the Mystics won the WNBA Championship, Natasha Cloud proudly announced that Delle Donne actually had three herniated discs

This surgery will likely limit her availability for playing with the U.S. Women's National Team as they begin their pre-Olympic training, exhibitions and qualifying events. She has yet to appear in any of the 2019-20 events due to her injury.

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Quinn Cook changes his jersey number to honor Kobe, Gigi Bryant

Quinn Cook changes his jersey number to honor Kobe, Gigi Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers guard, and former DeMatha Catholic star, Quinn Cook is changing his jersey number from No. 2 to No. 28 to honor the late Kobe and Gigi Bryant. 

For Cook, the No. 28 symbolizes the combination of Gigi's No. 2 and Kobe's No. 8.

"No. 2 is Gianna's number, I feel it should be retired. It's hers," Cook told Shams Charania of the Athletic. 

View this post on Instagram

💔💔my hero man. I’m completely crushed. I haven’t cried this much or been in this much pain since I lost my dad in 2008. Yesterday I lost my hero, my idol, & the main reason my love for this game is where it is today. Can’t really process this but we all are devastated and heartbroken about what happened to my hero Kobe & his beautiful daughter Gianna. You taught us all so much on and off the court. Anyone who knows me knows what Kobe means to me and to the entire world. We need to give all of our energy and prayers to the Bryant family and all the families involved in the tragic event yesterday. I will never get over this, I don’t know what’s going to happen going forward but one thing I know is that Kobe and Gianna are up there in heaven TOGETHER smiling down on us all. You were the greatest I’ve ever seen on the court but you were an even better Father to all four of your daughters man. Wow Bean I’m really writing this right now 💔💔. I will cherish our relationship and everything you told me forever. We are already missing you Kobe and Gigi🙏🏽🙏🏽! RiP DAD!

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Kobe and Gianna were two of the nine passengers that passed Sunday morning in a tragic helicopter crash. Since the incident, players, coaches, and organizations league-wide have honored the passings in their own manner. 

Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, decided to retire the No. 24 within the organization.

“Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball," Cuban said in a statement Sunday. "Our organization has decided that the number 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick."

After that move, players began to informally retire their own jersey numbers -- Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris will change his jersey from No. 8 to 88. Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets will change his jersey from No. 8 to No. 26 and Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic will change his jersey number from No. 8 to No. 31.

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