Wizards’ Bradley Beal to increase basketball activities, Al Harrington has knee surgery

Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal (3) handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, in Washington. The Wizards won 112-108 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) I could be back on the court soon. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Wizards announced on Monday that leading scorer Bradley Beal has been cleared to increase basketball-related activities, while reserve big man Al Harrington will miss at least four weeks after having surgery on his troublesome right knee.

Beal has missed seven straight games since a stress injury was discovered in his right fibula two weeks ago. Beal was averaging a career-high 20.6 points with 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 40.2 minutes per game.

“It’s good,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “Ramp it up means he gets to get back on the floor, so that’s good news.”

There still is no timetable for when he will be able to start practicing and playing again but a follow-up MRI exam on Monday revealed improvement in his injured leg. Washington (9-11) had gone 4-3 in his absence.

“It’s more fun when he’s on the court with you,” John Wall said of Beal. “It’s more exciting to see that and hear that, but it still takes time to see when he’ll get on the court.”

Harrington has been sidelined with a sore right knee since Nov. 12 and recently experienced a setback while increasing his rehabilitation efforts. He had a diagnostic arthroscopy and lavage procedure on Monday night in Vail, Colo., to clean out loose particles in his right knee. Dr. Richard Steadman performed the procedure. After resting for four weeks, Harrington will be evaluated again.

In seven games this season, Harrington averaged 7.8 points and 1.4 rebounds.

“That’s tough, because I know how bad he wanted to be here with team to help this team, and he can help this team,” Trevor Ariza said about Harrington. “It [stinks] for him, but again, we’ve got to come together and find somebody to fill in those shoes and step up for us.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee · December 9, 2013