Washington Wizards

Wizards guard John Wall has no structural damage in shoulder

Washington Wizards guard John Wall suffered a shoulder injury Friday night, but he seems to have avoided a severe issue.

Late in the third quarter of Friday night’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards guard John Wall fell to the floor after an awkward collision with Cavaliers forward Channing Frye. He suffered a left shoulder injury, which seemed pretty serious in the moment.

Wall stayed in the game though, played 38 minutes and finished with 13 points (4-for-13 from the floor, 5-for-12 from the line) and 15 assists. Wall acknowledged he should not have stayed in the game, but the seriousness of the report of him leaving the arena with his arm in a sling was quelled a little by the added detail that x-rays on Wall’s shoulder came back negative.

So, it’s officially a left shoulder sprain for Wall, though he told reporters after the game his injured joint was “on fire” and said it was like his “arm went dead.” It’s also not his shooting arm, but playing a quarter of Friday night’s game with one useful arm explains a lot. Wall’s 21 percent usage rate was far lower than usual for a game, as were his dismal shooting percentages.

With a game coming Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, Wall’s status is unsurprisingly up in the air.

Wall missed four games last season, but only two due to injury, and he’s missed a total of just 12 games over the last four full seasons.

Wall may have avoided a major issue, but he didn’t seem too pleased with Frye’s actions on the play that injured him.

“I feel like [Frye] threw a shoulder into mine because I’ve split screens before and hit somebody’s shoulder and their body and never had that type of injury,” Wall told reporters Friday night. “I think his impact and the way he was coming kind of gave me a stinger.”

Seeing the play live, as I did, it just looked odd all the way around. Frye was caught in an awkward position, as Wall tried to split the screen, and appeared to pull his arms in as if he was the screener.


The Wizards are on an every-other-night schedule from now until a back-to-back on Nov. 19-20. A one-game absence for Wall feels certain, but if he tries to rush back he’ll surely put himself at risk for further injury and a much longer absence.

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