"The good thing is we caught it early" said
Bradley Beal after shootaround on Tuesday. Beal was in good spirits when he talked with the media about his
latest stress injury to the same fibula that caused him to miss the final eight games last season.
Despite it being a stress injury to his right fibula, this is not the same injury from a year ago or a "re-injury" as Beal put it, but a different stress injury to a different part of the fibula, one higher up on the leg.
For now, there's no reason to stress over the injury as both Beal and the organization are cautiously optimistic that with rest he'll be able to return to the lineup. How long will that be? Nobody knows for sure, but for now they will let Beal rest for two weeks and then re-evaluate him before moving forward.
The hope is that they caught this thing early enough before it developed into a serious issue.
If it's only two weeks, the Wizards should be able to get by with some of their other options.
"I think everybody [can contribute], Garrett can come in and give us big minutes, Martell is capable of doing that, Glen Rice, all those guys are capable of it, they just got to trust into the system and trust what we're doing, all those guys bring different aspects to the game of basketball" said John Wall on dealing with Beal's loss.
Chris Singleton, and
Trevor Ariza all
returned to practice yesterday and are nearing a return to the court. That is even more critical now with Beal sidelined because the Wizards will need perimeter scorers and shooters. All three of the wings are capable of knocking down shots and with Beal out, they could be asked to play more in the backcourt. We'll also likely see Martell Webster slide down and play the two-guard, something he has already done this season.
However, if the injury is long-term and Beal misses months instead of weeks, then there may be reason to stress. It will be difficult to make up for a guy who has averaged over 20 points per game through the first 13 games of the season and who has begun to establish himself, at just 20 years old, as one of the game's elite scorers.
But until we know more, we'll hope for the best and a speedy recovery for Mr. Beal.
Here are some more quotes from Beal from his interview:
On injury: "It kind of popped up out of nowhere, it's been lingering for about a week, I thought it was calf soreness, then it escalated a little bit more. It felt similar to what it did last year as far as the doctors touching it and pushing it, so I ended up getting an MRI yesterday and there was definitely some stress reaction, it's not the same injury as last year, it's not a re-injury, it's similar it's just in a different location of the bone essentially."
On the pain and catching it early: "It was way less than it was last year, the good thing is we caught it early, I'm pretty sure if I could play on it I could play and duke it out, but I did that last year and it didn't work out too well. I'm going to play it smart this year and try and take care of it early and hopefully it will be gone once and for all."
On decision to sit out: "It was an executive decision and unanimous, everyone agreed on the same thing and said it was the smartest thing to do. We didn't want to push it and aggravate it even more because if you aggravate it it will escalate and escalate even more."
On teammates' reaction: "They were happy because it was early but they want me out there just as bad as I want to be out there."
On timetable and if he can be back in two weeks: "I'm hoping, but at the same time you cant rush that. My trainers and coaches and doctors are all on the same page and we're just going to take it one step at a time. I'm going to be re-evaluated in two weeks I'm just going to rehab, rest up and hopefully the reaction has gone away a little bit."
Ernie Grunfeld on Beal's Injury:
On Being Cautious: We want to be cautious with it, it's in a completely different spot than last year, it's in the same bone but it's up high while the last one was down low, so we want to be cautious with it and do everything we can in the early stages.
On Being Ok with Beal Playing a Lot of Minutes: Absolutely, he's been playing great, he hasn't shown any signs of favoring it, he's been playing terrific basketball, and something that was bothering him and obviously he complained about it and as soon as he did we had it checked out and we want to be proactive with this and be cautious with him.
On Being a Career Type Injury: We're hopeful that it wont be, he's 20 years old and he's got a lot of minutes left in him.
On Timetable: We don't know, we'll have to see how the healing process goes this is again very early stages of it he did feel soreness and want to make sure it doesn't develop into something more serious.
John Wall on Beal's Injury:
"It's tough it's something that happens on your journey that's the journey that goes on in basketball and you cant really control what happens, just let him sit back and rest and get healthy and try and come back and start off where he was at before he got injured."