Washington Wizards point guard John Wall figures there is no way he will miss the entire season.
Still, he said there's only "a 50-50 chance" his injured left knee will respond well when swelling subsides, which he hopes will happen later this week.
"I'm still waiting for my pain and swelling to go down to see what I can do on the court, but just trying to stay strong," Wall said Monday in a rare session with reporters.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft visited a doctor in New York on Friday, getting a lubricating injection in the knee — and what Wall called "good news" about being able to ramp up his recovery work.
"I've got more of a smile on my face, a little bit," Wall said with a slight twinge of his upper lip that certainly wouldn't be mistaken for a smile.
There hasn't been much to laugh about this season for the NBA-worst Wizards, who are 3-18 heading into their game against the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
Wall hasn't participated in a full practice, let alone played in a game, this season. The swelling in his knee prevents him from testing it with running and cutting on court.
He's not sure what he'll find out when he finally gets to do that.
"That's a 50-50 chance you've got," Wall said. "You never know how it's going to go. Hopefully, it heals the right way."
As far as missing the full season, Wall said: "I'm not thinking like that."
He knows, however, that his impact will be limited whenever he returns.
"I don't think I'll have to be heroic, because I'm still going to have to be playing a certain time limit if I come — whenever I come — back, because I'm not going to be fully in the best of shape or play 40 minutes a game like I was used to doing," Wall said.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he speaks with Wall every day, trying to keep up the young point guard's spirits. But the coach acknowledged it's frustrating not knowing when Wall will return — only one of several injuries on the team.
"If anybody knows an exorcist that can come into this building — I don't believe in that stuff, but I'm not going to stop it," Wittman said.