The Washington Wizards announced today that John Wall would be out for eight weeks with an injury to his left patella. The injury will leave Wall on the sidelines for the duration of training camp, pre-season, and the first month of the regular season.
But when Ernie Grunfeld, Randy Wittman and John Wall addressed the media today during a conference call, it did not seem as if the organization was too down in the dumps. Grunfeld especially did not seem too concerned.
“You have to look at the big picture, and the big picture is that John is going to be with us the majority of the season.”
Wittman, although relatively quiet during the conference call, seemed to echo the same sentiments.
“I’m still very positive about this team. Now it’s just an opportunity for different guys to step up…we see it all the time. This gives us the chance for us to become a better team.”
Everyone involved seemed very optimistic in that they caught the injury, which is being described as being in the early stages of a non-traumatic stress injury, last night during an MRI in New York before it got even more serious to the point that it would have required surgery.
“We’re lucky. We’re very lucky that we took the precautionary steps to make sure that nothing was there. We’re lucky that we came and saw it before there was any type of fracture,” said Grunfeld.
As far as who is going to take Wall’s place in the starting rotation on the season tip-off, that all seems to be in the air. When one reporter, who seemed to be asking Wittman, about the spot and whether A.J. Price would be taking the role, John Wall was the one to speak up instead of Wittman.
“There’s no guarantee that A.J. is going to be a starter. No starting spot is guaranteed in this league.”
For Grunfeld, he had the same sentiments and admitted that the starting point guard could even be someone who’s not currently on the roster.
“We’ll look around and see who’s available. If the right player becomes available then we will consider signing someone else.”
This injury is obviously going to affect Bradley Beal’s position on the team, but that all seems to be up in the air for now. As to whether Bradley Beal could be running the offense, Grunfeld made clear that he’s going to have to learn the positions and that everything “remains to be seen.” Wittman stated that while the team has had an opportunity to view the young star in the summer league, the NBA season is a completely different scope.
While an injury to a star player on a franchise who hasn’t seen much success lately is definitely a blow, the Wizards don’t seem overly worried. The timetable “eight weeks” sounds a lot worse than it is or could have been. The Wizards are happy that “eight weeks” means only one month of the regular season; and they’re also really happy that “eight weeks” didn’t turn into “rest of the season” should this injury have worsened in the middle of a campaign.
When looking at the “big picture”, this is the best possible scenario for an injury to John Wall. And while that may seem crummy, the history of Washington sports has proven that things could always be worse.