John Wall talks about his injury and rehab

Jason Miller

After he received good news last week, John Wall spoke to the media about his injury and his rehab schedule Monday.

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards had practice Monday morning following their whomping by Miami on Saturday night. While blowout losses haven't been commonplace for the Wizards this season, media time with John Wall has been even less common. It's like finding two four-leaf clovers (one clover is horribly wilted, and the other is ramping up activity).

Here's a complete transcript of Wall's press conference following Monday's practice. (Emphasis is mine).

Reporter: You were cleared to resume some activity. Can you tell us what kind of activity you've resumed?

Wall: I was doing a little bit of shooting before some games, before I got back and got re-evaluated. So it's kind of wait-and-see what I can get back to doing.

Reporter: How tough has it been these last 3 months?

Wall: Four? I think it's 4 or 5. It's been very tough for me because I want to play basketball, you know what I mean? This is the first time I've really been injured, sitting out for a long time. I like the way that we added new guys to our team, and I feel like our team is better. We had a lot of goals set, and we still got them set, but it's tough when you got to sit there and watch them. I mean, we're out there giving it our all and playing hard every night. I just wish I was there to help them go through the stuff we're going through.

Reporter: Is your injury -- I saw a report that said -- similar to Blake Griffin's?

Wall: He broke his kneecap. I think mine was just a stress fracture where I was in the beginning stages of breaking my kneecap. It was lucky I caught it before it broke, and I would already know what my timetable is: I would miss the whole season. And I had a little bit of cartilage problems. Underneath my kneecap it's kind of rough.

Reporter: How much worry do you have? Do you feel like once the swelling does come down, you will make progress and can get out there and start playing again?

Wall: So, that's the 50-50 chance you got. I mean, you never know how it's going to go. You just hope it heals the right way, and I think I've been doing the right things I'm supposed to do: just rest, do my exercises, try to stay in shape as best as possible without going out there and injuring myself and hurting myself for the rest of my career. I want to be out there playing basketball with my teammates, but I just want to make sure I'm fully healthy.

Reporter: What have you been able to do with this injury?

Wall: I've been riding on the bike before. I was riding on the Alter-G. I was swimming in the pool a little bit.

Reporter: How has your knee responded to the shot [you received on Friday]?

Wall: The last few times, it felt pretty good. I still didn't do nothing on the court, but it was getting better, and the swelling was starting to go down. I just got one Friday, and it needs a couple of days for the swelling to go down, so I'm still waiting to see how it's going to feel by like Wednesday or Thursday this week.

Reporter: Have you been given a timetable?

Wall: No, no timetable. Basically, I just got to see how this shot goes, and see if I can get back to ramping it up without having any problems or pain or soreness.

Reporter: How hard has it been to see this team struggle as it is? Do you feel more pressure where ever you are to come back [to resume your role]?

Wall: I'm still going to have to have to be playing a certain time limit whenever I come back because I'm not going to be fully in the best of shape or playing 40 minutes per game like I was used to doing. It's still going to be tough. I think just being out there and lifting the spirits of my teammates, having one of their leaders out there that's playing, and just having another point guard out there will make their jobs easier. It's tough for us right now because we've got a couple of injuries. But you can't make excuses in this league. Everyone's a professional. We're doing a good job; we're just trying to play hard and get a chance to win games.

Reporter: How would you sum up how you feel watching your guys struggle? Are you angry, frustrated?

Wall: It's all of it, but I still understand that things happen for a reason. I just feel like God is testing me to see how strong I am mentally, and it's tough for me because I want to be out there and play. It's tough watching basketball when you can't play. I don't really know what to say.

Reporter: Has there been less pain going forward?

Wall: Ah, before there was so much pain, I couldn't even run on it. I couldn't stretch my leg out at one point. It's been getting better, it's just got to take time and see where it goes from here.

Reporter: What's the biggest concern about coming back too early?

Wall: Going back to the beginning stages. Probably breaking my kneecap, anything like that, since it started off with a stress fracture. You don't want to go back and re-injure that and have to miss a whole 'nother--I'm not trying to think that far ahead.

Reporter: The important thing is to let this rest as much as it can, so that the fracture heals?

Wall: Well, my fracture is already healed. I just feel like it's the cartilage part left that I'm trying to get cleared. The 8 weeks I took off was the time I was supposed to take off for the stress fracture to heal.

Reporter: What's the next step once the swelling goes down? What's ramping up your activity going to be?

Wall: Getting on the court, trying to work out, trying to run, trying to cut, trying to jump. Do those types of things.

Reporter: What have you done to try to not think about it?

Wall: All I do is sit at home. Watch basketball games. Play my video games. Sleep. Hang out with my brother. My mom comes up with my nieces and nephews here and there, and we just try to relax.

Reporter: Do you try to watch what you eat?

Wall: Well I don't really eat too much anyway. I just like chips. I like crab legs and seafood, so that's really what I'm eating. Unless my mom comes to town [then it's] whatever she cooks, Southern food.

Reporter: I know you've been talking to your teammates a lot. Who have you been talking to the most, and what have you gotten to share with them about [the team's struggles]?

Wall: Just all of them. I know it's tough because everyone wants to win and no one wants to lose. Just keep fighting. As long as you're playing hard and giving your all, playing your game, and trying to make the team better I think that's all you can give. If we're giving our effort and our heart out, that's all you can worry about.

Reporter: Yesterday, RG3 didn't play [ because of injury], and while he respected the team's decision [he wanted to play because] he's a player [so like you're saying that you want to play]--

Wall: Yeah, but his is a game. Mine's been 3-4 months [chuckles]. It's a big difference, but you have a great point. When you're competitive, you always want to be out there with your teammates. At the same time, you've got to understand that they're not trying to force an issue. They're trying to make sure he's healthy before they put him out there and [potentially] injure him even more. But it was great. He said it was time for somebody else to step up, and the other rookie quarterback stepped up and won a big game for them.

Reporter: Is there any temptation to say "I know that I can definitely be healthy if I sit out this whole season?"

Wall: Uh, I'm not thinking like that, so hopefully the time I've been taking off, the shots I've got, and the treatment I've been getting will make me healthy so I can play basketball. You don't want to miss a whole season, but if it comes to it, you have to. I'm not trying to think that far ahead.

Reporter: Do doctors like the way the knee is healing at this point?

Wall: Yeah, it's healing in the right way. Everything else around my knee is in the right order it's supposed to be. There's just this one problem I'm trying to get over.

Reporter: Is there anything [you did that you think may have caused the fracture?]

Wall: I did everything the same way, just working out the same way. I just switched different people, but it wasn't a different type of workout. Playing basketball on the court and lifting weights. I'm not doing too much lower body [to avoid] wear and tear.

Reporter: [How different is this than tendonitis?]

Wall: Tendonitis: that doesn't bother me. You can play through any type of tendonitis [and bone bruises depending on where you get them]. If you sprain your foot, you can't run on it until you get healthy. Those nagging issues, you can kind of fight through them. But this one is kind of tough because you can't cut, you can't run full speed, you can't jump like you want to. So you're basically out there just wasting your time.

Reporter: You put a lot on this year being a big year for you. How disappointed are you [about this]?

Wall: Very disappointed, but at the same time I think God is just challenging me. He's putting me through a course like this to see if I can get through it.

Reporter: How do you think Bradley Beal is handling the amount of time he's getting, the amount of pressure he's under as a rookie to score?

Wall: I think it's pretty tough from time to time. Every night's not going to be a good night for a rookie. I think he's just learning the game better and better. You know, everyday he's trying to learn something new, doing things out in practice. And when he's not making his shot, he gets frustrated like any shooter would be. But we tell him to just keep shooting and playing aggressively. That's the type of player he is.

Reporter: [What will you bring back to the team when you return]?

Wall: Fast breaks, getting into the lane. Getting guys open shots. That's basically what my game is. Trying to make the job a lot easier for my teammates. So anytime I can see we have a lot of shooters and a lot of people who can get out on fast breaks and finish, that'll be a great plus to get out there and help those guys out.

Reporter: What were you thinking when A.J. [Price] broke his hand?

Wall: Just another--I can't even tell you. It's something that just happened. Things aren't running the right way for us this year. A lot of guys getting injured. It's just tough times you have to deal with.

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