Proac­tive Wiz­ards sit Beal with stress in­jury

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather -

Bradley Beal knew some­thing was wrong with his right leg af­ter the Wiz­ards’ last game, a vic­tory over the New York Knicks. He had played four games in five days. His jump shot had fallen flat be­cause the lift wasn’t the same.

Turns out, he has the same stress in­jury to the same leg but in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion as last year, the Wiz­ards re­vealed be­fore Tues­day’s game ver­sus the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers at Ver­i­zon Cen­ter. Pres­i­dent Ernie Grun­feld said the team was be­ing “cau­tious and proac­tive” in putting Beal on the shelf.

“It’s been lin­ger­ing for about a week,” Beal said. “I thought it was calf sore­ness for a while. Then it kind of es­ca­lated a lit­tle bit more. It felt like it felt the same way, sim­i­lar to what it did last year, as far as the doc­tors touch­ing it, push­ing it. I ended up get­ting the MRI [on Mon­day]. It was def­i­nitely some stress re­ac­tion. It’s not the same in­jury as last year. It’s not a re-in­jury or any­thing like that.”

It means that Beal will be out for the next two weeks and then he will be re-eval­u­ated by doc­tors. Re­al­is­ti­cally, he’ll be on the shelf longer than that.

Gar­rett Tem­ple or Martell Web­ster are the likely choices to re­place him in the start­ing lineup.

Beal’s cur­rent stress in­jury is in the prox­i­mal, or up­per, right fibula. The one that ended his rookie sea­son pre­ma­turely in April was to the lower part of the same small bone, his dis­tal right.

“This is the very early stages of it and we just want to make sure it doesn’t turn into any­thing se­ri­ous,”

said Grun­feld, who was OK with Beal play­ing an NBA-high 40.2 min­utes this sea­son. “He’d been play­ing great. He hadn’t shown any signs of fa­vor­ing it or any­thing like that. He’d been play­ing ter­rific basketball. … He be­gan com­plain­ing about it, and as soon as he did we had it checked out. We want to be proac­tive with this and then be very cau­tious with it.”

Beal missed the last eight games of last sea­son, all of the Las Ve­gas sum­mer league and didn’t do con­tact drills at USA Basketball mini­camp in July. The Wiz­ards, who ini­tially said he would be on the shelf six to eight weeks which would have been about May 20, didn’t clear him for full con­tact un­til Au­gust.

In 13 games for the Wiz­ards (5-8) this sea­son, Beal had av­er­ages of 20.6 points, 4.2 re­bounds and 3.5 as­sists.

“The good thing is we caught it early,” Beal said. “I’m pretty sure I could prob­a­bly play. I can prob­a­bly duke it out. I did that last year and it didn’t work out too well so I’m just go­ing to play it smart this year, take care of it and get rid of it early. Hope­fully it’ll be gone once and for all.”

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