“Maybe tomorrow when we get back,” Beal said as he walked off the United Center floor after Washington’s shoot-around Monday morning.
Beal, 22, has missed Washington’s last 16 games after he was diagnosed with his fourth stress injury in his right fibula in his four NBA seasons. He hasn’t played since the Wizards’ six-point loss to the Houston Rockets on Dec. 9.
The Wizards’ leading scorer at 19.8 points per game, Beal logged 39 minutes in the contest despite discomfort in his leg and averaged 39.7 minutes in the seven games before he was shut down. He is averaging a career-high 36.5 minutes in 17 games this season and is expected to be a on a strict minutes limit when he returns to resume the final season on his rookie contract before he becomes a restricted free agent in July.
Washington has gone 8-8 without Beal since he was sidelined on Dec. 9 and 10-9 without him this season overall, a mark that includes his three-game absence because of a left shoulder injury in early November.
“For us, we got to start getting some confidence, building some of these wins and then eventually we’re going to need Brad back,” Wizards forward Jared Dudley said. “Brad takes us to a whole other level. He’s an elite scorer on our team.”
Garrett Temple has started in Beal’s place for 17 of the 19 games. He is averaging 12.2 points on 44 percent shooting from the field and has posted a plus-7 net rating as a starter.