In his first comments to reporters since rupturing his Achilles tendon, Wizards point guard John Wall said Friday he was in “great spirits” and the injury was “nothing to dwell on.”
Wall, using a medical scooter and brace to hold his left leg, spoke following the Wizards’ 119-106 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Monday, the 28-year-old found out he would miss the next 11-15 months after he ruptured his Achilles in a slip-and-fall in his home on Jan. 29.
The Wizards’ star revealed he will undergo surgery Tuesday.
“You never want to hear it, but it is what it is,” Wall said. “I’m kind of glad it happened now, instead of around four or five months ahead in recovery and then I’m trying to get back on the court and it happens then. So it’s not like I started my process of getting back, so it’s not too much to kind of dwell on.”
Wall, of course, was already out for the season, recovering from season-ending heel surgery. He originally expected to be out 6-8 months, but there’s now a possibility he could miss all of next season.
The setback caused the Wizards to change their approach to Thursday’s trade deadline, coach Scott Brooks said. On Wednesday, Washington traded Otto Porter and Markieff Morris in separate deals to get under the luxury tax.
Wall, who was drafted first overall in 2010 out of Kentucky, said he plans to conquer his injury “like this was a little step in the road.”
But the road will be challenging. Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the Wizards’ director of medical services, told reporters there’s “no way to tell” if Wall will return to being the same caliber of player once he’s healthy.
Wall, in particular, relies on his speed and athleticism to dominate opponents. Will another injury — especially one like this — change that?
Still, Wall appeared to be in high spirits in the Wizards’ locker room and throughout the evening.
He sat with his teammates on the bench and waved to the crowd after the team aired an in-game video tribute to the point guard in the first quarter. The video contained highlights of Wall’s career and included the message: “Your DC family is behind you.”
The five-time All-Star also said he plans to use this time away from the court to finish his degree and spend time with his 4-month-old son and his mother. Earlier in the evening, Wall told NBC Sports Washington that his mother, Frances Pulley, was battling cancer.
With so much going on in his life, Wall was asked how he’s able to stay positive.
“Just stay to true who you are,” Wall said. “The real (ones) will never lose. I stay true to myself having great people around me, great friends. All the people that talk negative like, ‘You can’t come back from this. You’re not this. You’re not that,’ do nothing but motivate me even more.”
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