When the NBA season resumes at the end of July, the Washington Wizards will be fighting for a playoff spot, but they’ll have to do so without Bradley Beal.
The Wizards announced on Tuesday that Brad will not travel with the team to Orlando this week and will miss the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season with a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder.
“This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” Brad said. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made.”
The decision was reached through consultation with Wizards Chief of Athlete Care & Performance Daniel Medina, Wizards Orthopedist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, Brad, and his representation.
It is believed that No. 3 initially suffered the shoulder injury sometime early in the season, as he began to report discomfort after a road game in Phoenix. Throughout the season, Brad worked with Washington’s medical and performance staff to manage the injury. However, the symptoms worsened over the course of the NBA’s COVID-19 hiatus, as Brad was unable to receive regular treatment for the injury.
When players were cleared to return to the team facility in June, Brad began to rehabilitate the injury with the intent of returning to play, but it became increasingly clear as the Orlando bubble entry date approached that he would not have the time to ramp up and be at his best by the time games begin in late-July. Instead, he will continue his rehabilitation process over the summer with the intention of being ready whenever the 2020-21 season begins.
“Bradley did everything possible to be ready to play, but after closely monitoring his individual workouts we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to sit out the upcoming games in Orlando and avoid the risk of further injury,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “Although he was able to play through the majority of the season with the injury, the layoff from March until now did not leave any of us feeling comfortable that he would have enough time to be ready to perform at the extremely high level we are all accustomed to seeing and agreed that not participating in the games in Orlando was the right decision.”
Brad’s 2019-20 season ends with him having played 57 games while averaging a career-high 30.5 points per game, which ranks second in the league. He also averaged career-highs in assists per game (6.1 apg), and free throw percentage (84.2%).