Wizards star Bradley Beal will not play in restart due to shoulder injury
“This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” said Beal. “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.”
Beal is the second Wizards player to opt-out of the restart after teammate Davis Bertans was the first notable player to do so last month. Bertans cited concerns of re-injury after suffering two previous major injuries in his career and being on the verge of a new contract.
Head coach Scott Brooks said Beal looked ready physically on Monday but noted that the decision would ultimately come down to how he feels about his conditioning. The injury comes as a surprise, as he had not been listed in the injury report previously.
“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.”
The Wizards are 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They would need to get within four games of the eighth spot to force a potential play-in tournament to reach the last spot in the postseason.