Report: Wizards, after firing trainer, changing approach for injuries

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Randy Wittman lashed into a writer for reporting John Wall clashed with the Wizards’ training staff over handling of his injury.

Well, the Wizards dumped Wittman, and now they’re changing their medical approach.

J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

After a disastrous 2015-16 in which they were among the NBA’s most battered and injured teams, the Wizards are heading in a new direction with their athletic training staff and are close to finalizing a new structure that focuses more on the clinical side, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.

Longtime head athletic trainer Eric Waters was fired with one year left on his contract after a 41-41 season in which multiple players were injured and stayed in street clothes for long stretches. A clinical focus would include developing new treatments, therapy, studying trends, taking into account genetics to understand injuries and many other aspectss by having a more specialized medical group rather just a head athletic trainer and an assistant.

What the Wizards did last season didn’t work well. Bradley Beal missed significant time, and several other players were on the shelf for prolonged periods.

But can anyone be certain an alternative approach would’ve worked better? The counterfactual is hard.

Still, Washington will try something new and try to evaluate it. But it’s difficult to separate the new technique from regression to the mean on injury luck.