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John Wall goes through first practice with Wizards, coach optimistic

Dec 27, 2012, 5:54 PM EDT

John Wall AP

After missing 26 games so far this season recovering from a knee injury, John Wall said Wednesday that he hopes to be back on the court next month.

That became a step closer to reality on Thursday when Wall went through his first practice with the team, reports CSNWashington.com. It was a non-contact, no defense practice but still, he was on the court running drills.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman was understandably excited at the idea of getting Wall back in January, a player who might help his moribund offense.

“God, I hope so,” Wittman said Thursday after watching Wall participate in his first “dummy” practice with the Wizards, in which defenders are not used on the court.

“I’m glad he’s thinking that. He did dummy with us today with the group for the first time. That’s a step forward. Obviously, no contact yet, but he did full speed up and down with the dummy stuff we ran and that’s the first time he’s done that with the team. That’s a step in that direction.”

Both Wall and Wittman need to be patient here — this season is lost. At 3-22 they are not making a run to the playoffs. There is no pressure, so make sure he is 100 percent before he steps on the court.

But it would be good to see him back on the court. And the Wizards want that because this summer they want to offer him an extension to his rookie contract or not. His play when he returns this season will have a big say in that.

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