Bradley Beal has been experiencing soreness in the same right leg that brought a premature end to his rookie season and had it examined on Monday afternoon, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The team is expected to provide an update on Beal’s status Tuesday morning, but his availability for the Wizards’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers – and beyond – remains uncertain.
ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Bill Simmons speculated on Twitter that the Wizards are worried Beal will “miss extended time” after aggravating a stress injury that caused him to miss the final eight games last season and kept him sidelined through August.
Beal leads the NBA in minutes played at 40.2 per game and is the Wizards’ leading scorer, averaging 20.6 points – an almost seven-point increase from last season. He played a total of 83 minutes in back-to-back games against Toronto and New York last weekend and combined to shoot just 14 of 40 (35 percent) from the field.
“Sometimes, I can feel my legs aren’t in it. Or a few minor adjustments here or there are all because of fatigue,” Beal said after the Wizards defeated the Knicks, 98-89 on Saturday at Verizon Center. “Sometimes, it just doesn’t go in. All my shots feel good, except for the ones that I know are off for sure. Nine times out of 10, I feel like all of my shots are going in.”
Beal was unable to participate in summer league and was mostly a spectator for the Team USA mini-camp as he let the leg heal. After the lengthy delay, Beal said he “didn’t skip a beat” in his summer workouts. He missed 26 because of various ailments last season and pledged that he would “stop being hard-headed” and try to play through injuries.
Beal complained of discomfort in his lower leg on Monday and later underwent a series of tests, forcing the Wizards to balance apprehension with excitement on a day that third overall pick Otto Porter Jr. and Chris Singleton practiced for the first time this season and Trevor Ariza returned after missing two weeks with a strained right hamstring.
Coach Randy Wittman already stated that Ariza will start, but he might have to use Martell Webster or Garrett Temple at shooting guard if Beal is forced to miss any time.