John Wall is still in the process of nursing his injuries, but he says he’s finally ready for a return.
“I’m 110%,” Wall said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m healthy.”
The former Wildcat spoke on a video call Tuesday to discuss his “202 Assist” program, which is helping D.C. residents who have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic pay their rent. During the virtual press conference, Wall also took some time to discuss his own life in D.C., how he’s staying in shape while quarantining and if he thinks the rest of the NBA season will resume as planned despite COVID-19 complications. As for his own health, he’s “still taking [his] time at the rehab” in order to get himself “in the best shape possible” for an eventual return to the game.
Wall joined ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on her NBA show The Jump back in April to discuss his recovery and progress toward a return. At that time, he made it clear he plans on waiting until next season to rejoin his Wizards teammates on the court, even if this season didn’t restart until later this summer.
“I just think with our program and what we’ve got scheduled for next season, one of my ultimate goals is to make sure I’m fully, all the way healthy,” Wall told Nichols. “My weight is down to where we want it at, but I’m going to wait until next season… In our best case scenario, we’re just going to wait until next season.”
Even so, the wait has been hard on Wall. The point guard has not played in an NBA game since December 2018. Bone spurs in his left heel required season-ending surgery that season. During his rehab for that injury, Wall tore his left Achilles tendon and required another operation in 2019.
“I’m itching to get back out there,” he said Tuesday.
Even though he doesn’t plan on seeing the court this season, he’s eager to see his team back in action soon.
“I’m just focused on getting back out there and watching how [Wizards teammate Bradley Beal] has developed, how our team has developed,” Wall said, “how we have made changes in the organization to prepare ourselves for next season and see what we can do.”
His so-called itch to return to the sport he loves is making him restless. Wall says he’s been using an app the Wizards gave players with information about weightlifting, while also riding his bike and working on shooting and ballhandling drills at the half-court he has at his house.
“I understand how quickly this game can be taken away from you,” Wall said. “I try to play through all injuries, because I feel like, ‘If it ain’t broke, go play.’ For me, if you take all the money away, I’m still going to play the game the same way I do, because that’s how much I love it.”