Star point guard John Wall will miss eight weeks due to a patella injury, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, who also reports no surgery will be required. It's a huge setback for the Washington Wizards with training camp set to begin next week.
Wizards John Wall will miss the next eight weeks with a stress injury in his left patella, team says. No surgery. Rest and rehab.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) September 28, 2012
There was no mention of injury during the offseason, making the announcement quite a shock. Wall is coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 16.3 points, 8 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game, numbers in line with his impressive rookie campaign.
The Wizards made a concerted effort to put more talent around him, adding Nene late last season and Trevor Ariza over the summer. The team also drafted sharpshooter Bradley Beal with hopes he would form a dynamic backcourt combo with Wall.
Those plans will now have to be placed on hold until late November, however. Wall would be ready to return around Thanksgiving based on the timetable, but the Wizards are likely to err on the side of caution when it comes to bringing him back.
All the team can hope is that he's able to return to full strength and doesn't suffer any further setbacks moving forward. Any time a player starts dealing with knee issues early in his career, it's a worrisome situation. Hopefully this is just an isolated injury.
In the meantime, Washington will probably turn to A.J. Price, who has spent the past three years coming off the bench for the Indiana Pacers, to fill the point guard void. Price averaged four points and two assists in 13 minutes per game last season.
Shelvin Mack, who matched those numbers as a member of the Wizards bench last season, would be the other option. The good news is that they have all of training camp to get the backcourt sorted out before the season starts on Oct. 30.
Wall should return around a month after the opener.