Washington Wizards

John Wall could miss 8 months after undergoing heel surgery

On the heels of news he’d miss a second straight game with a lingering heel issue, Washington Wizards guard John Wall is headed toward season-ending surgery.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall missed Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with a left heel issue, and he was pretty quickly ruled out for Saturday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. Things escalated quickly though, with multiple reports pointing toward season-ending surgery for Wall

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, a specialist has recommended surgery for Wall. Wizards’ head coach Scott Brooks suggested the heel has been an issue for Wall going back a few years, as he has battled bone spurs. Recovery for the surgery could take between six and eight months.

Wall missed substantial time last year after surgery on his left knee, and this was already going to be the fifth straight season he won’t get to 80 games played. Assuming he’s indeed done for the year, he’ll have played essentially a season’s worth of regular season games (83) in the last two years.

The Wizards are having a disappointing season, with a 13-23 record that currently has them 11th in the Eastern Conference and 4.5 games back of the last playoff spot. Any chance to salvage something out of the turmoil and trade rumors that surfaced earlier in the season has faded, with eight losses in their last 10 games heading into Saturday.

Wall has not been a great picture of durability anyway, but the Wizards definitely want to make sure he’s as healthy as possible by the start of next season. That’s when his four-year, $170 million contract starts, with salaries of $37.8 million, $40.82 million, $43.84 million and $46.8 million (player option for 2022-23) taking him through his age-32 season.

Any idea the Wizards could trade him, as has been speculated to some degree, is further diminished by a 15 percent trade kicker in that huge contract.

Wall was having another productive season this year, albeit for another underachieving Wizards’ squad, averaging 20.7 points, 8.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in his 32 appearances.

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Tomas Satoransky started in Wall’s place alongside Bradley Beal against the Bulls and will presumably do so for the rest of the season now. Ron Baker and Chasson Randle are also in line for more playing time, and the Wizards may shift into full tank-mode before too long.

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