Bradley Beal returned to the Wizards after more than a month’s absence, playing 23 minutes in a win over the Bucks last night. His playing time should gradually increase.
Just don’t expect it to reach the 36.5 minutes per game he was getting before the injury.
“Probably, especially with the way my body works,” Beal said about having his minutes capped at a maximum. “It doesn’t want to listen to me so I got to as much as I can take care of it, be smart about it moving forward through the rest of my career that’s probably something that’s going to happen every year.”
With Beal’s injury history is a long one, a person with knowledge of the situation told CSN a few weeks ago that number will be 35 minutes.
Beal has had several stress reactions on his right fibula, a worrying trend for the 22-year-old.
He’ll become a restricted free agent this summer, and I still think he gets a max contract. There just aren’t many wings who combine his athleticism and outside shooting – let alone at such a young age.
But teams will be concerned. It’s not just him playing only 35 minutes, plenty even for a starter. It’s the risk of him still getting hurt. Limited playing time won’t nullify his injury risk. It just exposes that Beal’s is higher than an average player.
Nobody wants to sign him long-term only to have him sidelined for a lengthy period, miss significant moments and/or regress as his athleticism declines.
In the meantime, the Wizards are happy to have him back. He’ll take some pressure off John Wall, who has kept Washington (18-19) in the playoff race.