Wizards say still 'no idea' when injured Wall back
WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington Wizards point guard John Wall can "ramp things up'' as he recovers from a stress injury to his left knee cap, coach Randy Wittman said Friday, although there's still no specific timetable for his return.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft has not played this season and has yet to even go through practices with his teammates, who began a franchise-worst 0-12 and were 3-16 heading into a game against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Wall was re-examined in New York on Friday by Dr. David Altchek, who said Wall is showing improvement but that there is still some irritation in the knee. Altchek said Wall has been treated with three lubricating injections.
"He will continue to be evaluated on an ongoing basis,'' Altchek said in a statement released by the team.
The Wizards announced Wall's injury on Sept. 28 and estimated that he would be sidelined about two months. Instead, as the absence approaches three months, Wall has remained limited to taking standing-still jump shots in practice.
"The doctor saw improvement, and the shot he got, after a couple days here of letting that take its effect, he can ramp things up again,'' Wittman said. "He's got to get back out now and get on the floor. Not practice, not contact yet. We have to see how he responds to his activity as it's ramped up.''
Asked for more specifics, Wittman replied: "He's going to go out on the floor. He's going to run, shoot. No contact. That's ramping it up.''
As he's said in the past, Wittman reiterated he has "no idea'' when Wall will be able to play. Wittman then waved off a question about whether there's a chance Wall could miss the entire season.
During the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, Wall led the Wizards by averaging 16.3 points and eight assists. He also topped the team with 95 steals and averaged 4.5 rebounds. The Wizards finished 20-46, the second-worst record in the league.
In September, Wall said he "started feeling discomfort'' about a month earlier, when he got an MRI exam that did not show any sort of problem. But Wall still was bothered by his knee while working out and went for a second opinion, which uncovered the injury.
Forward Trevor Booker also visited Altchek on Friday because of a strained right knee that has sidelined him since getting injured Nov. 19 in a game against the Indiana Pacers.
Booker said he will get a platelet-rich plasma injection from a Wizards team doctor on Monday, then will need to sit out about a week before "building back up.'' He isn't sure how long it will be before he can return to action.
"It just depends on how my body responds to it and how it's healing,'' Booker said. "My knee was at a standstill. I felt like it wasn't getting any better.''
He's averaging 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in nine games this season.
Note: The Lakers were without Jordan Hill, who was sidelined Friday by back spasms. Devin Ebanks was in the lineup at forward, his first start of the season. Ebanks scored 15 of the 42 points he's scored this season in a loss at the New York Knicks on Thursday.
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AP Sports Writer Joseph White contributed to this report.