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The Wizards shouldn’t have to rush John Wall to play this season, no matter what

Again, the data behind NBA players returning from an Achilles tear isn’t good.

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Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers
Yes, John Wall LOOKS like he can play yesterday. But the Wizards are also right to hold him back from a setback.
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards have never said that John Wall is officially out for the Washington Wizards this season. But it should be no surprise to anyone that he will never see a game this season, even if he’s able to run full speed on the court. And even if he’s able to make a crisp pass to Kristi Toliver for an open three.

David Aldridge of The Athletic DC wrote a column earlier this week on why the Wizards’ point guard won’t start a game this season, regardless of how good he looks in an Instagram story. Since The Athletic is under a paywall, I don’t think it’s right to divulge everything Aldridge wrote, even if other folks on the internet do.

Let’s just say that the existing data behind players recovering from Achilles injuries is not promising. Furthermore, we are in an era of “star protection” (the quotes are mine) given that other superstars like Kawhi Leonard want more time before getting back on the court. Athletes feel that they should have more input on their timetable before returning. And perhaps Wall feels that way as well.

We had a recent roundtable on whether Wall should play limited minutes this season. While there is an argument to be made that Wall should test the waters if possible, the bottom line is that Wall should have the final say. The Wizards are paying Wall around or more than $40 million each season over the next three years. Therefore, it is in everyone’s interest to make sure that Wall is in the best shape possible before making his return to the NBA court.