John Wall ruptured his Achilles last February, and the 11-to-15 month recovery window may be looking more like 16-to-18 months.
A brutal injury to make a comeback from, Wall’s looking at missing the entire season, and to be honest, even if he was healthy, coming back really made little sense. The Wizards are 18-23, three games out of just the eighth spot in the East.
However, it isn’t the team’s position that is preventing the chance at a comeback.
The Wizards, and more specifically general manager Tommy Sheppard, need to protect their investment in Wall and have put loose expectations on him, making sure a potential return comes with limited possible ramifications.
Talking to NBC Sports’ Chase Hughes, that’s the gist of what Sheppard detailed.
“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. 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.”
It’s about the future. With a player like Bradley Beal, who was snubbed the All-Star yet still is averaging over 26 points per game, developing as an elite scorer, the Wizards could have the best backcourt in the East if Wall comes back at full strength.
Forward-thinking Sheppard is looking towards next season to find a potential playoff run, not this one.
“To play him before he’s 100% and to have a setback that would affect next season is absolutely senseless. Why would we do that? Why would we do that for John?”
Wall hasn’t played in an NBA game since December 26, 2018. He’ll have missed almost 22 months when it’s all said and done.