Bradley Beal is still more than a week away from his 20th birthday, but there is another significant date that the Wizards’ shooting guard is possibly monitoring with even greater anticipation: The day when he will finally be cleared to participate in basketball-related activities.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Beal remains sidelined but is expected to be cleared by July 1, nearly three months after doctors diagnosed a stress injury in his right fibula. The delayed recovery puts in doubt Beal’s availability for NBA summer league in Las Vegas, which begins on July 12, sources said.
A person close to Beal maintained that it’s “too early to say” if he will be able to participate in summer league. Another added that “summer league is not imperative. There is a chance that he doesn’t” participate.
The Wizards will stay cautious with Beal and won’t rush to bring him back. Beal, the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, missed 26 games in his first season because of various injuries to his right wrist, lower back and both ankles.
Beal and John Wall were both among the 27 players invited to participate in Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas from July 22-25, but the 6-foot-5 Beal is expected to be able to available for those workouts.
Beal’s season came to end on April 3, when the Wizards announced that the injury would force him to miss the remainder of the season. At the time, Beal was slated to need approximately six weeks off before he could get back on the court to start playing again. Beal has been limited to shooting stand-still shots but his off-court exercises and activities have been increased in recent weeks.
In his exit interview in mid-April, Beal said he was open to participating in Las Vegas summer league after a season in which he averaged 13.9 points, made the all-rookie first team and finished third in rookie of the year balloting behind Portland point guard Damian Lillard and New Orleans big man Anthony Davis.
At the NBA draft lottery last month, Beal admitted that he was “bored” with not being able to play basketball.