(ABC)–Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks is not entirely sure when All-Star point guard John Wall will return to full-fledged practicing after missing 1½ months so far because of surgery on his left knee.
Brooks also doesn’t know how much Wall will get a chance to play before the regular season ends on April 11. But Brooks insisted Tuesday that none of that really matters, so long as Wall eventually does make it back into Washington’s lineup.
“He’s moving in the right direction. He looked good today, with his shooting and his ball-handling and his work that he does on his own,” Brooks said before the Wizards hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I don’t know how many games he will play. We’re just going to wait until we know that he’s ready to play. We’re not desperate. It would be great to have him. I’d love to have him tonight. But that’s not happening. We’re not going to put ourselves in any position that we have to (use) him. We just want to make sure that he’s ready to play.”
Wall last played on Jan. 25, and his operation was Jan. 31. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of Kentucky had surgery on both of his knees before last season.
He recently has been shooting and is expected to start practicing with his teammates soon.
“Eventually, it’s going to turn into contact, whether it’s early next week or not,” Brooks said.
Wall will not travel with the Wizards for their game at the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, instead staying in Washington with an assistant coach “to get some extra work in,” Brooks said.
As in the past when Wall has come back from knee issues, he probably will sit out the second games of back-to-back sets.
“I’m assuming that’s going to be the case. That’s usually the case. It’s been the case in the past. We haven’t talked about that yet,” Brooks said. “We just want him to focus on doing his rehab and his on-the-court work and feeling good about himself and hopefully the knee continues to respond the way it has been.”
The Wizards have gone 12-7 without Wall during this absence.
They entered Tuesday leading the Southeast Division with a 38-29 record.
“They’ve been able to carry on for a long time here without John,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They’ve positioned themselves well going down the stretch and I’m sure when John comes back it will be a big plus for the team.”