John Wall knew it was bad — he had broken his wrist on his left hand back in high school, so when he fell on it during Game 1 against the Hawks, he knew it was serious. From the Washington Post.
“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 gutted out the rest of Game 1 and helped the Wizards earn an upset victory on the road. After that game X-rays came back negative and it was announced he had a sprain — but Wall wasn’t buying it. He knew it was something worse. That led to clashes with the Wizards medical staff, reports Michael Lee at the Post.
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.
Wizards coach Randy Whittman has since called this report a “flat out lie.”
Wall has been the second best player in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season. He’s also the focal point of the Wizards’ offense, and their best perimeter defender — this team is not close to the same without him. This is not the Clippers, who had another Top 10 NBA player to turn their offense over to; the Wizards are a much lesser team when Wall cannot play. And it’s hard to imagine him playing — a non-displaced fracture in his shooting hand kept Kawhi Leonard out more than three weeks this season.
And it’s hard to imagine him playing — a non-displaced fracture in his shooting hand kept Kawhi Leonard out more than three weeks this season. While this situation is different — this is Wall’s non-shooting hand — to play (even in a splint or support of some kind) is to risk a worsened injury that could be an issue for a year or more. It’s a risk-vs.-reward discussion, but with the guy you’re team is built around for the next several years you can only take on so much risk.