Wizards non-committal about John Wall's minutes upon return

Chris Lingebach
March 22, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards aren't committing to any specific minutes restriction for John Wall, but the star point guard has begun getting back into "basketball shape" to make that decision easier once he does return.

"It all depends. We haven't even gotten that far," said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who is presented by Greenberg and Bederman, of a potential minutes restriction. "We've talked about it, but we haven't put anything in concrete yet. But I think it's fair to say we'll have some type of restriction. I don't know yet. I'm speaking out of place right now, but, like I said, he's improving."

While Brooks was non-committal about the minutes, he did seem to intimate that, the better condition Wall's in, the less of an issue the minutes will be. Asked if there's a chance he could hit the ground running and play 30-plus minutes out of the gate, Brooks said, "I think that's fair to say also. With his knee, there wasn't a lot of conditioning that you could do to cardio."

"You could do as much as you want on the AlterG, the treadmills, the bikes, whatever," he said. "It's nothing like basketball shape. So what we want to do is, last week and this week, is get him in great condition, basketball shape, so when he is ready to play, the minutes could be at a good number, a number that we're all comfortable with. But we'll make that decision down the road."

Wall, initially given a 6-to-8-week recovery timeline, is more than seven weeks removed from undergoing arthroscopic debridement surgery on his left knee. Brooks hopes to get Wall back for as many games as he can ahead of postseason play. The Wizards are currently the sixth seed (40-31) with 11 regular season games to play.

"I'd like as many as I can, but a handful," said Brooks. "For most guys, you need three-to-five, six, whatever it is for most guys. But he is such a freak athlete. Like I said a couple weeks ago, he didn't touch a ball for five straight weeks and it looked like it was just so natural to him his first workout, making shots. His dribble, his handle is intact. With him, who knows? We'd like to get a couple of games in."

"He's had a couple of good workouts the last few days," he said. "Sunday, our day off, he came in and had a great workout, probably one of his best workouts. He's progressing very well. He's coming back from each hard workout feeling good the next day. Nothing's going on with his knee that is anything of concern. He's right on schedule. It's like seven weeks, and we said six to eight, so he's right in that range."

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