WASHINGTON (AP) — Already done for this season after one operation, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall now will miss most — if not all — of next season, too, because he needs surgery on his left Achilles tendon, which he tore in a fall at home.
Wizards team doctor Wiemi Douoguih said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters that he discovered the partial rupture of the tendon during a procedure done Monday to address an infection from the operation on Wall’s left heel on Jan. 8.
The 28-year-old Wall’s Achilles surgery has not been scheduled yet. Douoguih said it probably will be next week.
Wall, whose game is built around his speed and ability to drive to the basket, is expected to be able to return to what the team called “full basketball activities” about a year after that operation. Douoguih estimated the recovery range for Wall’s injury, “at John’s age,” to be from 11 to 15 months.
There is no way to know what sort of player Wall will be when he returns, Douoguih said.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “we don’t have a lot of data on elite NBA point guards with tendon ruptures.”
Douoguih said Wall was not wearing his walking boot — which is OK while at home — when he slipped and tumbled on Jan. 29.
“He never heard a pop,” Douoguih said. “He had a slight increase in discomfort.”
So the Achilles problem wasn’t known until Monday.
Wall was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of Kentucky and was an All-Star each of the past five seasons. But a series of injuries will have robbed him of much of what usually are a player’s prime years.
He appeared in only 32 games this season, averaging 20.7 points and 8.7 assists. Last season, when he had an operation on his left knee, Wall played in 41 of Washington’s 82 games. He also had surgery on both knees before the 2016-17 season.
The Wizards have tried to build a roster around him, and Wall’s $170 million, four-year contract extension kicks in next season.
The news might change the way the club approaches Thursday’s trade deadline, because while this season was basically a throwaway after injuries to Wall, Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris, the uncertainty surrounding the point guard for next season makes the franchise’s future even harder to assess.
After a 137-129 loss at home against the last-place Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, the Wizards are 22-31 and tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference.
Washington plays at the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.