John Wall faces a lengthy road to re­cov­ery but is work­ing to stay pos­i­tive.

Point guard hangs with the Wizards as he awaits surgery on rup­tured Achilles’ and lengthy re­hab

The Washington Post - - SPORTS - BY AVA WAL­LACE ava.wal­[email protected]­post.com

A scooter didn’t stop John Wall from hav­ing a lit­tle fun with his team­mates Fri­day night as the Wash­ing­ton Wizards milled around a con­tented locker room fol­low­ing their 119-106 win over the Cleve­land Cava­liers.

Wall leaned over the han­dle­bars of the scooter he is us­ing for mo­bil­ity to try to swat a postgame meal out of Jor­dan McRae’s hands be­fore grab­bing McRae’s phone and pre­tend­ing to take a call. He dead­panned as he re­layed his half­time mes­sage that new team­mate Bobby Por­tis would be “a punk” if he didn’t turn his 18 points at half­time into 30 by game’s end (which Por­tis did). He praised Bradley Beal’s lead­er­ship in the wake of the news that Wall is ex­pected to be out for 11 to 15 months, po­ten­tially miss­ing the en­tire 2019-20 sea­son, af­ter rup­tur­ing his left Achilles’ ten­don.

In all, Wall is in good spir­its as he pre­pares for surgery, which is sched­uled for 7:30 a.m. Tues­day.

“Chill­ing,” Wall said. “Mi­nor set­back for an ex­tra cou­ple months, so noth­ing to dwell on.”

Wall, 28, adopted a pos­i­tive out­look as he spoke to re­porters for the first time since an­nounc­ing his lat­est in­jury, which en­sures that the point guard will have missed at least half of each of the past three sea­sons.

“You never want to hear it, but it is what it is, and [I’m] kind of glad that it hap­pened now in­stead of when I’m four or five months ahead in re­cov­ery and I’m try­ing to get back to be­ing on the court. ... It’s not like I’ve started my process of get­ting back, so it’s not too much to kind of dwell on,” he said.

“I guess God is telling me some­thing: ‘ Sit down and get your­self fully healthy.’ I’ve played through in­juries my whole ca­reer. I know a lot of peo­ple who’ve played through in­juries and don’t sit down; that’s one thing I don’t like to do. If some­thing is nag­ging or not bro­ken, I want to play. And I guess it kind of caught up to me. Some­thing I can’t con­trol, but my love for the game is still there, and I’ll come back and con­quer this like it was just a lit­tle step in the road.”

Wall, who watched the Wizards’ win from the bench Fri­day night, praised the fran­chise’s new play­ers — in ad­di­tion to Por­tis’s 30 points, new for­ward Jabari Parker was one as­sist and three points from a triple-dou­ble — and ex­pressed his well wishes for Otto Porter Jr. and Marki­eff Mor­ris, who were traded Wed­nes­day.

“I’m def­i­nitely sad to see that with those guys com­ing in and con­tribut­ing, do­ing ev­ery­thing they can for this or­ga­ni­za­tion and lay­ing it on the line with play­ing through in­juries,” Wall said.

“We added some great pieces; you see how well those guys played to­day. The fran­chise made some changes the last cou­ple days, made some ad­just­ments, and I think these guys that we added have a great mind-set even though it was only one game. Just take it one step at a time. For me, all I can do is sit back and watch film . . . [so] that I can come back and be able to play in­jury-free and just have fun with­out play­ing through nicks and bruises every night.”

NICK WASS/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

“I guess God is telling me some­thing,” John Wall said. He is ex­pected to be side­lined 11 to 15 months.

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