Injury Notes: Beal, J. Murray, Jazz, Magic

Suns guard Bradley Beal has been limited to just three games for his new team so far this season and hasn’t played since November 12 due to back problems. However, the hope is that he won’t be sidelined for too much longer, Shams Charania of The Athletic said during an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link).

“I’m told Beal has started his ramp-up process and he’s continuing to progress in that ramp-up,” Charania said. “The goal is to track toward a return soon, potentially over the next 10 days, as long as the progress continues. But we know it’s been a fluid process with this back (issue). The back can be something that you have to be cautious with.”

As Charania notes, the Suns are willing to be patient with Beal since their priority is to be healthy when the postseason begins in the spring — they’d rather hold him out for a few extra games now if it means having him available in April.

Phoenix has also been playing relatively well without its third star, lessening the need to get Beal back on the court as soon as possible. Since Devin Booker returned on Nov. 15, the Suns are 8-3 — and Booker sat out one of those three losses.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who injured his right ankle in his first game back from a hamstring injury last Wednesday, is considered questionable to return to action tonight vs. the Clippers, per Bennett Durando of The Denver Post. “Hamstring’s fine. I’ve worked enough to get it back to strength,” Murray said. “Now it’s just another thing.” As Durando points out, Murray would become eligible for a super-max extension if he earns All-NBA honors this season, but he’ll fall short of the 65-game minimum required for All-NBA consideration if he misses five more contests.
  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson will miss a third straight game on Wednesday in Dallas due to a right thigh contusion, the team announced (via Twitter). Kelly Olynyk (right shoulder strain) has been ruled out for a second consecutive game, while Lauri Markkanen (left hamstring strain) will remain unavailable for a sixth game in a row. The expectation is that Markkanen will be reevaluated at some point this week, at which time we may get a better sense of his recovery timeline.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz (left knee tendinitis), who has been ruled out for a 13th straight game, is “progressing slowly” and still isn’t doing full contact work in practices, head coach Jamahl Mosley said on Tuesday, per Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required). Jonathan Isaac, who has logged just seven minutes in Orlando’s past four games due to ankle issues, is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game in Cleveland, Beede adds.
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