Wizards star Bradley Beal reveals ultimate mindset behind playing through hamstring injury
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal returned from a hamstring injury against the Charlotte Hornets for the regular-season finale on Sunday. The Wizards had already clinched a play-in spot, but beating the Hornets got them the No. 8 seed and a chance for a win-and-in game against the Boston Celtics.
Beal was clearly laboring out on the court and admitted afterward he’s not fully healthy. Still, he managed the pain and will give it a go against the Celtics in the play-in tournament. The Wizards star further elaborated on his decision to return Sunday in preparation for Tuesday’s play-in tilt.
“The toughest thing for me is, as a player, with injuries, you have to be selfish,” he said. “You have to look at yourself and think about your career…my biggest thing is being on the floor, being available. My first four years in the league, I had that injury-prone label to my name, so I absolutely hate when I miss games. This injury, in particular, I know it’s something that — it won’t heal in a week. Hell, I don’t even know if it’ll heal in two weeks. James Harden, I think he missed a month. It’s different grades of strains. You never know. Your hamstring is so delicate. My final decision came down to, do I want the first time me coming back onto the floor with this injury to be in a must-win game, with me trying to do everything on the fly with a super important game? If I had just come back, played on Tuesday, I don’t know how I would have been. … I kind of understood the risk of playing (Sunday). I was comfortable with knowing, okay, if I tweaked it again, I was okay with knowing it could potentially set me back.”
You could argue that Beal shouldn’t be risking his long-term health like this just for the play-in tournament. Even if the Wizards get out of it, they’re going to face either the Brooklyn Nets or Philadelphia 76ers.
However, after dealing with all the trade rumors and showing his commitment to the franchise, Beal wants to give it a go. The Wizards star understands what’s at stake and wants to give his team a fighting chance.
Let’s hope Bradley Beal doesn’t make things worse as he battles through the pain for Washington.