So Bradley Beal’s rookie season over. After originally injuring his left ankle in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 3 and then missing six straight games through March 15—being declared “day-to-day” the whole time—Beal came back for three games. He then injured that same left ankle, again. Beal was declared “day-to-day” from March 21 through March 29, missing five straight games. He returned to the court last Sunday against the Toronto Raptors and played again on Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls. His jump shot, and game, seemed present (he did make a career-high six 3s against Toronto), but Beal was clearly not himself during those two contests. He looked stiff. So on Wednesday, the Wizards shut him down for the season, as they discovered a “stress injury” to his right fibula, a clear indication that, in playing, Beal was compensating for his left ankle injury.
What does it all mean? Bad, #SoWizards luck, that’s what. Should Beal have paid more attention to the signals his body was likely sending him? Should the Wizards medical staff have better monitored the rookie for such issues? Probably a little of both. The injury doesn’t diminish a very good rookie season for Beal, and it doesn’t have an affect on a meaningless chase for the ninth spot in the East. The Wizards caught the stress injury, albeit seemingly a tad late, Beal will get rest, and, according to team release, he will return to basketball activity in six weeks.
After the Toronto game, I asked Beal (video below) if this particular ankle injury was the type where it helps to get back on the court and work some of the stiffness out.
“Throughout my life, I’ve always sprained my ankles. That’s probably any basketball player,” said Beal. “But I always just kept playing. Now, it’s something totally different. These are ankle injuries I’ve never had before. It’s affecting different areas of my ankle and my leg. It’s just something that I just have to deal with and take time to be able to rest it.”