WASHINGTON — Washington Wizards point guard John Wall called his upcoming absence because of a left knee injury "a minor setback." Team president Ernie Grunfeld labeled it "a bump in the road."
However it's described, ex-Cat Wall is expected to miss the first dozen or so games of the NBA's regular season after the Wizards announced Friday that their best player — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft — was diagnosed with the early stages of a stress injury to his left knee cap.
The Wizards said the injury does not require surgery. If his rehab goes as expected, Wall will be sidelined for about two months in all, including about the first month of the regular season, which begins Oct. 30 for Washington.
He was examined Thursday in New York by orthopedic specialist Dr. David Altchek after a previous MRI had revealed nothing.
"Just something that happens when you work out very hard, that's all I can say," Wall said.
LeBron: 'We're even better'
LeBron James was back in the Miami Heat locker room on Friday morning, took a look around at his teammates ad quickly came to a realization.
The reigning NBA champions might even be better this time around.
With 12 players back from last season's championship roster — foremost among them himself, after a season where he won the NBA's MVP award, the NBA Finals MVP, his first league title and then an Olympic gold medal over the summer for good measure — the Heat clearly have tons of talent. Adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the mix figures to make them that much better.
Naturally, James isn't complaining.
"It's scary to see, to look in our locker room today and say that we can be better than we were this past season," James said.
Bell won't join Jazz camp
The Utah Jazz will not allow disgruntled guard Raja Bell to join the team for training camp even though he remains under contract and they haven't been able to agree on buyout terms.
Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey issued a statement Friday on Bell, who has publicly feuded with coach Tyrone Corbin.
Lindsey says in his statement that he has spoken with Bell's agent and they mutually decided it is in the "best interest" of both sides that he not rejoin the team.
The 35-year-old Bell is set to make $3.5 million this season.