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Wall Unsure of Return to Lineup, Feeling Great Physically

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall said he’s feeling great physically, but he isn’t sure when he’ll be able to return to game action.

The perennial All-Star participated Monday in full-contact practices for just the second time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Jan. 31.

“I feel good about myself,” he said Monday while addressing local reporters for the first time since the procedure, adding that he’s lost at least 10 pounds while sidelined.

Wall has endured three knee surgeries in 18 months, the latest one in January coming with an estimated recovery time of six to eight weeks.

Going into Tuesday’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Wizards have gone 14-11 since Wall went down on Jan. 27.

On Monday, he continued the rehabilitation process with five-on-five drills and even dunked in practice, but he said the trainers and doctors must clear him to return.

For now, he must await the official go-ahead before the team’s regular-season finale on April 11.

“I feel like I’ve shown what I had to in practice and stuff like that,” Wall said. “I’m just going through the protocol and all the many practices or things I have to do to clear what they want me to clear.”

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said Wall’s return “is moving in the right direction every day,” but ruled him out for the San Antonio game.

“He’s got more comfortable seeing the floor and all the other players,” Brooks said. “He back to making incredible passes. There’s a lot of guys that got a lot of open shots and layups today.”

Before Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks, Wall conducted a light workout where he dribbled around parts of the court, took some jumpers and shot free throws.

That 101-97 loss to New York, a team Washington had defeated in 15 of the prior 16 meetings, extended the Wizards’ current losing streak to three games.

Tomas Satoransky, who replaced Wall in the starting lineup, said the team played Sunday as if they were awaiting Wall’s return.

“I think we looked like we were waiting for John to come back and change everything, playing like we did the first game he was missing,” Satoransky said after Sunday’s game. “That’s not the right way to do it. We have to go out and play as hard as we can every game.”

Even with the loss, Wall praised his teammates for staying in playoff contention during his absence.

“We just give those guys the credit for what they did,” he said. “When somebody goes down, the next man has to step up. That’s our motto we always stood by. I’m happy those guys are playing well because when I come back, it just makes our team a lot more stronger.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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