John Wall probably won’t be rejoining the Washington Wizards on schedule.
Though he was initially expected to miss about two weeks after receiving treatment for his left knee, the team now expects him to be out a little while longer, according to The Washington Post‘s Candace Buckner (via HoopsHype):
John Wall has progressed to participating in half-court shooting and running drills with team staffers, but will not return to the end of the West Coast portion of the Washington Wizards’ five-game road trip
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Wall, who received platelet-rich plasma and viscosupplementation injections in his left knee on Nov. 25, could make his return to the lineup by the middle of next week. The team originally shared that Wall would miss “approximately two weeks,” however, Wall has not gone through a practice or a shootaround with teammates. Although Wall is improving he still needs more time to recover, the source said.
Missing his two-week timetable by a few days, or even a couple weeks, isn’t the end of the world. The Wizards are hanging around the Eastern Conference’s playoff picture without Wall, having gone 3-3 in his absence so far. Anything longer, though, and you’re free to start worrying—not just about the long-term status of the point guard’s knee, but about the Wizards in general.
Tim Frazier has slid into the starting five during his absence, which has not spelled good times for the offense. That quintet is averaging under 100 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com—a bottom-feeding mark. The entire offense, really, is feeling the ramifications of Wall’s departure. Tomas Satoransky has played some fantastic minutes on the ball, and Bradley Beal is fresh of a 51-point detonation in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Wizards are 17th in points scored per 100 possessions over the past six games.
And, frankly, they’re lucky to even fall that high. They’re pumping in just 102.3 points per 100 possessions overall when Wall isn’t on the floor this season, a mark that wouldn’t crack the top 20.
The Wizards are obviously smart not to rush him back, and their next three games, while on the road, present very winnable matchups against the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets. After that, though, the Wizards begin a 15-tilt stretch in which they’ll face tougher opponents like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and, potentially, a healthier Memphis Grizzlies squad. They need Wall back as soon as possible before their playoff positioning suffers an irreversible blow.