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What the Wizards team doctor can tell us about John Wall’s recovery timeline

What the Wizards team doctor can tell us about John Wall’s recovery timeline

Back in December, Wizards guard John Wall addressed the media following the news he was set to undergo season-ending surgery on his left heel. He explained the decision, which was made in consultation with Wizards doctors, Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay and his own inner circle, as intended to prevent a much more serious injury.

“It's to the point where I can't play through it anymore, unless I want to tear my Achilles,” Wall said.

Wall ended up tearing his Achilles anyways in a freak accident at his home just one month later. The first surgery gave him a timeline to return by the start of next season. This next surgery will add at least a few more months on top of that.

Wizards team medical director Dr. Wiemi Douoguih explained in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday the details of how Wall’s ruptured Achilles was discovered and how long it could take to get him back on the floor. There were some specifics, but also plenty of unknowns.

“You know, there’s no way to tell,” Douoguih said of whether Wall will for certain get back to the player he once was. 

“We don’t have a whole lot of data on elite NBA point guards with tendon ruptures. John is an unusual specimen because of his talent, his abilities and the demands placed on his body. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Douoguih outlined a recovery of anywhere between 11 and 15 months. An 11-month recovery would be in line with Wall’s college teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, who returned in less than a year from the same injury. A 15-month rehab would keep him out for the entirety of next season.

Douoguih shared some details about how Wall’s latest injury was diagnosed. The All-Star point guard had surgery to remove bone spurs in his left heel on Jan. 8 and three weeks later, on Jan. 29, slipped and fell in his home.

Douoguih said Wall was not wearing the walking boot he had been prescribed when he fell, but was permitted to take it off for certain tasks like taking showers. Soon after falling, Wall told the Wizards medical staff about the incident. He told them he didn’t hear a pop, but had felt some additional discomfort.

Soon after, Douoguih examined Wall for an infection related to the initial surgery and realized his Achilles tendon had been damaged.

“We tried to put him on antibiotics, but the [infection] wasn’t getting better. So, we just went in to explore it and incidentally found that he had a rupture at the time of the surgery,” Douoguih said.

Douoguih explained that the tendon wasn’t fully torn, that several strands remained attached to the bone. That, he believes, threw off their initial examination. He also said that separates Wall’s injury from the average Achilles tear.

However, Douoguih believes Wall’s surgery, which is expected to take place next week in Green Bay, will still fall within the normal parameters of Achilles tendon surgery. Once it is done, the long road to recovery will begin.  

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Wizards' defense, playoff hopes falter in loss to Bulls

Wizards' defense, playoff hopes falter in loss to Bulls

The Washington Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls 126-117 on Sunday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. As good as the Wizards played going into the All-Star break, they have been terrible coming out of it.

Washington squandered a strong start and watched the Bulls run away from them in the second half, as they lost their second straight game to fall to 20-35 on the season. The Wizards have not only lost two straight, but to bad teams, as they fell to Cleveland on Friday.

Though they were only two games, they should be enough to quiet down any talk about the Wizards and the playoff race. Yes, they are ninth in the East, but playoff teams don't lose games like this.

The Wizards have bigger fish to fry at the moment, like what happened to their defense which had been showing promise. The Bulls poured 126 points on them, including a season-high 73 in the first half.

Granted, Chicago didn't play particularly well, either. It had 26 turnovers and the Wizards had 24.

2. The Wizards caught the Bulls at a time when Coby White might be the hottest scorer in the NBA. He dropped a career-high 33 points the night before against the Suns, then turned around and torched the Wizards for the same amount.

White had 16 points in the first quarter alone and 26 by halftime. He ended the first quarter with a buzzer-beating three-pointer that bounced in on a shooter's roll.

White has had some nice moments as a rookie so far, but has yet to find the consistency as a scorer that made him so good in college. Maybe he's in the process of turning a corner.

3. The Wizards did not play well, but Bradley Beal did drop a career-high 53 points and he made history in the process. Beal moved into second place all-time on the Wizards/Bullets franchise scoring list, passing Jeff Malone. 

The only guy ahead of him now is Elvin Hayes, who at 15,551 career points has a 4,448-point lead. Beal would likely pass him in two or three seasons, if he remains in Washington.

Beal bounced back from a poor shooting night against the Cavs by going 15-for-27 overall and 5-for-11 from three. However, he had seven turnovers after having six against Cleveland.

This was Beal's eighth 40-point game of the season. Only James Harden (17) and Trae Young (10) have more. It was his second career 50-point game, which ties him for the second-most in Wizards/Bullets history with Bernard King. Only Gilbert Arenas, who scored 50 points three separate times, has done it more in a Washington uniform.

4. Rui Hachimura got going early once again with eight points in his first six minutes. But he slowed down after his hot start and finished with 10. That continues to be a pattern for him.

What stood out positively in this game, though, was his aggression on the fastbreak. Hachimura has clearly been told recently he has the green light to take the ball up the floor once he gets a rebound. Hachimura did it several times in this game and to great effect. In the first quarter, he finished with a layup on one play then got fouled on another.

5. White's teammate Tomas Satoransky was also a problem for the Wizards and that has become a theme already in his short tenure since he left Washington. Now through four games, Satoransky has given his former team quite a bit of trouble.

He had 15 points and 13 assists on Sunday and is now averaging 17.3 points against the Wizards since leaving them in free agency. And in just about every game he's played against them, he's thrown down a big-time dunk.

In this game he got Davis Bertans with an and-one poster slam. Remember, he rarely utilized that skill in Washington. His teammates would tease him as a 'practice dunker' because he could throw down crazy slams, but never in actual games. It looks like that is no longer the case.

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WATCH: Bradley Beal achieves multiple scoring feats vs. Bulls

WATCH: Bradley Beal achieves multiple scoring feats vs. Bulls

As the Wizards' one-man show this season, Bradley Beal has achieved a number of personal and franchise milestones already this season. On Sunday night in Chicago, he added two more to his resume. 

First came the 25-point streak. Entering the game, Beal had been on a tear scoring the ball and had a career-high 13-game streak of 25-point performances. 

It didn't take Beal long to get to 25, extending his streak to 14 games with a tough finish through contact. 

Beal now has the second-longest streak of 25-point games in the NBA this season, surpassing Giannis Antetokounmpo (13), and now only trails James Harden (19). 

Shortly thereafter, Beal etched his name higher on the Wizards' all-time scoring list. He needed 34 points to move past Jeff Malone for second place in franchise history for points. 

Beal managed to get there with two unceremonious free throws, but his recent scoring surge has been sparked by his relentlessness attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line.

Next up, Elvin Hayes. 

The Wizards needed a furious comeback to even get close to the Bulls in the second half, so Beal took it upon himself to score just about every point for Washington down the stretch. 

In doing that, he notched his eighth 40-point game this season, breaking the career-high he set last year for 40-pieces. 

Only Harden (19) and Trae Young (10) have more 40-point games this season. He'll need nine more to set the franchise record. 

And wait, there's more!

Beal set a new career-high for total points scored in a game, putting in 53 points on 15-of-27 from the field, 5-of-11 from three and 18-of-20 from the free-throw line. 

As the Wizards' inconsistencies this season may as well prevent them from a playoff spot, the one constant fans can enjoy on a nightly basis is Beal's production scoring the ball. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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