Bradley Beal acknowledged to reporters today that he’ll “probably” have to deal with a minutes limit for the rest of his career as he continues to have trouble with injuries, according to TNT’s David Aldridge and J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com (Twitter links). Concern about his health reportedly played a role in Washington’s part of a mutual decision not to extend his rookie scale contract this past fall, though Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported then that the Wizards were planning to offer Beal a new maximum-salary contract when he hits restricted free agency in July.
The minutes limit will keep Beal to no more than 35 minutes per night going forward, Michael hears (Twitter link), a fairly generous cap that nonetheless represents fewer minutes than he’s averaged this season and in both of Washington’s postseason appearances the past two years. Beal hasn’t played in a game since December 9th because of what the team called “the beginnings of a stress reaction in his lower right fibula,” though it’s likely that he returns to action tonight against the Bucks, Michael tweets. Beal told reporters that he could play tonight as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks during a pregame workout, Aldridge tweets.
Beal is only 22 years old, so any notion of an injury that affects the balance of his career is disconcerting. The fourth-year pro missed 26 games his rookie season, nine the next year and 19 last year with various ailments, though it was a high right ankle sprain Beal played through as a rookie that led to the stress reaction he’s dealing with now, as Michael explains in a full story.