“I’m a soldier,” said John Wall following a wrist injury in Game 1 in which he returned to lead his team to a comeback victory over the Hawks. He went on to say that he and Bradley Beal (who left Game 1 with an ankle sprain) would both be on the court come Game 2.
Only one of the two was actually on the court for a Game 2 loss to the Hawks. Beal played through the pain, and looked good with 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Wall was a late scratch, forced to sit out with a wrist that looked like this.
At the time it was still being called a sprain, but now we know that Wall has five non-displaced fractures in that wrist and hand. It’s amazing what Wall was able to accomplish in Game 1 after suffering the injury. But Wall, who broke the same wrist in high school, knew that the injury was worse than a sprain.
Here’s from Michael Lee of the Washington 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.”
It’s been a weird situation when it comes down to how hard the Wizards had to work to find Wall’s injury. But how the injury was found is meaningless in terms of the Wizards chances of winning. What is important is if Wall can find a way to return to the floor while Washington’s season is still alive.
It’s his left wrist, and Wall played through it to finish Game 1, but most signs point to him not being able to return. The key is the term “non-displaced.” Yes, the Wizards X-rays missed FIVE fractures in Wall’s hand and wrist, but because none of those bones were out of place (and there was so much swelling around them) it was hard to find the injury. If Wall plays, those bones are at risk to be further injured and make this an even worse problem for himself and the Wiz in the future.
As great as it would be to see the most exciting player in the series (by far) be able to compete, it feels like no matter how much of a “soldier” Wall may be, it’s not the best long-term decision for him or his team.
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