The Washington Wizards were dealt a potentially fatal blow Thursday, as news arrived that All-Star point guard John Wall has five non-displaced fractures in his left hand and wrist.
Without the explosive Wall in the lineup, the Wizards have gone 10-40 the past five seasons. And though they remain confident that they can beat the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the Playoffs, Wall’s injury is devastating.
The 24-year old floor general reportedly pushed back against team doctors’ initial diagnosis following a fall in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Per the WaPo:
Wall had been no worse than the second-best player in the Eastern Conference this postseason, leading the Wizards to a franchise-record five straight playoff wins before an awkward fall caused his left hand to inflate like a blowfish. Barring Wall making a miraculous return, the Wizards’ best opportunity to reach the conference finals — and possibly the NBA Finals — for the first time since 1979 has been ruined.
Knowing what is known now — and what Wall feared at the time — how remarkable was that (18 point, 13 assist, 7 rebound-Game 1 performance)? It surely will go down as the grittiest of Wall’s career, no matter how it eventually plays out. Wall broke the same wrist as a sophomore in high school and immediately thought it had happened again. That was one of the reasons Wall, a player accustomed to falling with his relentless drives to the hoop, slammed the court in agony after getting accidentally undercut by Atlanta’s Jeff Teague. […] “I knew when I fell on it,” Wall said earlier this week. “You never know when you’ve got a lot of energy and power going down on the ground, so I thought I broke it. Kind of the same type of injury.”
Wall refused to accept the initial diagnosis of a “real, real bad sprain” after X-rays immediately following the game were negative. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Wall clashed with team medical staffers before sitting out Tuesday because he felt something more serious had caused his hand to explode. After a few days of confusion and concern, Wall got the confirmation of bone fractures that he never really wanted, leaving fans of the team with broken hearts.