Wizards' John Wall Won't Return from Injury This Year Despite COVID-19 Hiatus

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC -  MARCH 8: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Miami Heat on March 8, 2020 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

The NBA's indefinite hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic won't open the door for Washington Wizards star John Wall to return during the 2019-20 season. 

The Washington Post's Candace Buckner reported the team still plans to have the five-time All-Star sit out for the entire year as he recovers from his ruptured Achilles.

The Wizards said in February 2019 they expected Wall to make a full recovery in 12 months.

By the time the NBA returns, Wall will be well beyond that timetable. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told WFAA's Mike Leslie he believes a mid-May restart is possible.

However, Buckner underlined why expecting the Wizards to have their starting point guard in the spring or summer is unrealistic:

"However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the Wizards, the NBA and all of sports to shut down. By following social distancing guidelines, Wall can no longer simulate the intensity of the workouts with Wizards staffers, his teammates and Capital City Go-Go players.

"Even if Wall works out every day at home—he has a basketball court and gym at his Potomac residence—it will be impossible to replicate the day-to-day routine he had at the Wizards' practice facility. It is a challenge for any NBA player to stay in shape while basketball is away, and the struggle is magnified for injured and rehabilitating players."

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the NBA ordered teams to close their practice and training facilities. Players are left to work out on their own separate from one another.

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The Brooklyn Nets are in a similar situation with Kevin Durant, who had Achilles surgery in June. If the NBA season extended into July or August, he could hypothetically suit up to aid in the team's playoff push.

But Durant's business partner Rich Kleiman has already shot down the idea. The 10-time All-Star also tested positive for the coronavirus, which gives the Nets even more reason to be cautious.

And unlike Brooklyn, Washington is outside of the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards are 5.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic.

Even if he's back to full health when action resumes on the court, the team should continue to operate under the belief Wall is out until the 2020-21 season tips off.