WASHINGTON — Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is not planning to change his style whatsoever when he returns from his latest knee surgery — whenever that might be.
“I’m just going to be John Wall,” he said Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) after the second full-contact practice of his comeback from an operation on Jan. 31. “That’s all I know how to do.”
The All-Star declared himself “feeling great” but said he is not sure when he will be able to play in a game for the Wizards, who desperately need help at the moment. Washington has lost three consecutive games heading into Tuesday night (Wednesday, Manila time) against the visiting San Antonio Spurs; coach Scott Brooks said Wall will not play in that one.
“It’s getting close. He’s had two really, really good days. His energy level is high. He’s anxious. You can tell. He wants to get out there,” Brooks said. “We still want to be patient.”
Washington has dropped to sixth in the Eastern Conference at 40-33 and will only have eight games remaining after facing the Spurs.
The Wizards are 14-11 without Wall during his current absence — he last played on Jan. 25 — and 19-17 overall this season without him.
“It’s been good. It’s been bad. We’ve played well, at times. Sometimes, we haven’t played well. Like when everybody was saying that they [were] playing better without me, that was great. The good thing is, I’m glad we did we did win those games when we did, because if we didn’t, right now, we would be in a situation where we might not be in the playoffs,” Wall said. “I feel like everybody should have given those guys credit for playing well.”
Wall’s session with reporters on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) was his first in Washington since having surgery on his left knee. He said he lost about 10 or 15 pounds during his rehab, without intending to.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of Kentucky had surgery on both of his knees before last season.
This time, Brooks said, Wall has been able to do pretty much everything as usual in his pair of full-fledged practices, including dunk.
“He’s getting his rhythm back. He can get to gaps and seams and angles not a lot of guys can get to. There’s only a handful of guys — maybe not even that — that can do it in the NBA,” Brooks said. “He’s one of the best players in the league.”
As for Wall himself?
He figures he’s ready.
Just waiting for the official clearance from team doctors.
“When I’ve had an injury in the past, I don’t think about it. I go out there and play the same way I played before, and that’s with a lot of aggression, a lot of attacking mode, a lot of fast pace. And I’ve been doing that,” he said. “All I had to do was show that glimpse and that showed me I was being myself again.”
Washington’s latest loss was 101-97 at home against the lowly New York Knicks on Sunday night.
“We just thought it was going to be a cakewalk,” Bradley Beal said, “and they smacked us in the mouth.”