Bradley Beal had a jovial, laidback attitude when he spoke to reporters to discuss his timeline for his recovery from season-ending wrist surgery on Tuesday. In doing so, the Wizards’ franchise shooting guard did not seem downtrodden.
“I’m in this cast for another seven weeks, so ten total, which is gruesome,” Beal said. “Then probably another three weeks after that, out of the cast to be able to get back to normal range of motion and strength and stuff.”
Beal hasn’t seen action since he took a nasty fall in a loss to Memphis in late January. He said the decision to undergo season-ending surgery was mutual between himself, general manager Tommy Sheppard, and Wizards' owner Ted Leonsis.
“They were always okay with whatever decision I decided to make, but it got to the point to where I just couldn’t do anything basketball-wise that I was comfortable with doing,” Beal said. “I’d rather fix it now than worry about it later or hinder it more throughout the year and be out later in the year and kind of hinder us that way. I just want to get it fixed and get back as quickly as possible and put it behind me.”
Beal’s stats prior to his injury were stellar; he averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. However, his shooting numbers dipped from what he put up last year when he was the league’s second-highest scorer.
Regardless of Beal having a down year by his standards, Washington is still likely taking the all-hands-on-deck approach to sign the star over this offseason. Beal can opt-out of the final year of his contract and either re-sign with the Wizards for $245 million or decide to enter free agency and make less money with another team. He’s leaning on staying put.
His wrist injury is an unfortunate roadblock on Beal’s return to action.
“The cast is good. My arm, I feel it getting smaller by slipping out of the cast every day but it feels good, no pain,” Beal said Thursday. “Recovery’s been really good. [I’ve been] starting to lift and do things with my legs and my core and other stuff—trying to figure out ways to still do some upper-body lifts as well and stay in some type of shape.”
The Wizards have to play 21 more games this season without Beal, more if they qualify for the play-in tournament and the playoffs. Until then, having to watch from his spot on the sidelines is the tough reality of dealing with a long-term injury.
“It is tough, because you guys know I always—if it ain’t broke, I’m out there,” Beal said. “But the cast is keeping me from being out there now. It’s definitely tough because I definitely want to be out there. I know what I can do and I know how valuable I am to the team, and I know I can help for sure. It’s definitely frustrating at times.”