Washington Wizards All-Star guard John Wall will undergo his third surgery in less than two years, but he expressed confidence in his teammates to perform well in his absence.
Wall, who spoke with reporters Monday after the team’s practice at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in southeast D.C., said he’s dealt with pain in his bone spurs for four to five years.
“Some days it would be great, some days it would be terrible and [I] couldn’t play, and could barely walk,” he said. “Not really a hard decision for me to make. It was an easy one to make. It was also making sure that everybody from my team and everybody from the Wizards organization was on the same page.”
Wall, who has averaged 20 points and about nine assists on the season, said the pain intensified during a Dec. 8 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, in which he scored one point and six assists in 26 minutes.
He’s scheduled to have surgery on his left heel this week and could be out of action for six to eight months. He’ll walk on crutches for a few weeks, get fitted for a walking boot and go through the rehabilitation process, but said he plans to be with the team as much as possible.
“They have a great leader in [Bradley Beal],” Wall said. “These guys still have the talent to go out there and win. I just feel like I was giving them what I could, but it wasn’t the best. My effort was there, but it wasn’t like where I wanted it to be. So why keep putting that effort forward and selling short? Give these guys an opportunity.”
Beal, who leads the team in scoring with nearly 24 points per game, will take over the reins as leader. Tomas Satoransky will become the team’s starting point guard.
Head coach Scott Brooks has constantly praised Satoransky’s effort, but knows he’ll need more from him in Wall’s absence.
“He knows he belongs, he knows he can play well,” Brooks said of Satoransky after Monday’s practice. “Another part of Tomas’s game is he’s comfortable in not just being a point guard. He doesn’t need the ball. He can space the floor and make 3’s. He can be effective playing any position on the floor.”
Meanwhile, small forward Otto Porter Jr., who missed the previous 10 games with a right knee contusion, was a full participant in Monday’s practice and and expects to make his return Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.
However, power forward Markieff Morris may see a specialist Wednesday in Dallas for his neck injury after sitting out the past two games.