WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall has five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand, and the All-Star guard’s playing status has not been determined.
Wall was hurt in Game 1 of Washington’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Atlanta Hawks. Initial X-rays were negative, but “multiple examinations” on Wednesday revealed the injuries, the Wizards announced Thursday.
Washington hosts Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday. The top-seeded Hawks won Game 2 to even the series at 1-1.
“Obviously not the news you want to hear,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said following the team’s practice on Thursday. “With the swelling, we knew maybe there was not good news there. We’re still consulting with doctors. It’s still pretty swollen.”
Wall, who led the Wizards with 17.6 points and 10 assists per game during the regular season, was not made available to speak with reporters.
“It’s definitely difficult for the team, but I’m sure it’s even more devastating for John,” forward Paul Pierce said. “He worked so hard to get to this point in his career, and to play so well throughout the playoffs and to hear that type of news, I know that’s devastating.”
Though he practiced following Sunday’s series-opening win in Atlanta, Wall was a surprise inactive for Game 2 Tuesday. With his left wrist noticeably swollen, the point guard struggled with various drills during pregame warm-ups.
Wittman didn’t rule Wall out, but said, “We’ve got to be prepared as a team to play without him.”
“Who knows how long something like that is going to stay?” Wittman continued. “That would’ve been true today even if we didn’t have the report back of the broken bones. I mean, his hand’s just so big, he can’t handle a ball, he can’t control anything.”
The fifth-year guard injured the hand when bracing himself as he fell along the baseline. He remained in the game and finished with 18 points and 13 assists in the 104-98 win. Washington, fifth seed in the East, opened the playoffs with five straight wins.
“This is the toughest son-of-a-gun I’ve ever been around,” said Wittman, a former player in the league.
Wall recorded at least 10 assists in four straight games. He leads all players with 12.5 per game in the postseason.
Ramon Sessions replaced Wall in the starting lineup and scored a team-high 21 points in the Game 2 loss. Acquired from the Sacramento Kings at the NBA trading deadline, Sessions revealed he practiced with the starters for the first time this season on Thursday.
Pierce said it would take a true team effort to replace Wall.
“It’s definitely got to come from not only me, but there are a lot of other guys that have an opportunity now to step up,” he said. “By no means do we feel like this series is over or our goals change. We’re going to continue to go out there, reach for our goals and continue to fight each and every night.”
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