Bradley Beal battling through wrist injury

Rob Carr

Bradley Beal doesn't plan on sitting out despite admitting discomfort from a wrist injury. Can the Wizards rookie find his shooting stroke with a bad wrist?

Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal looked the part of a lights out shooter in the first few games of this month, finally giving the team a taste of why it drafted the Florida product.

He's cooled off in recent games, though, possibly the result of a right wrist injury the rookie has been battling through, as Michael Lee of the Washington Post writes.

After the Wizards' latest victory, a 86-73 defensive battle over the Chicago Bulls, Beal was seen wearing a soft protective cast on his wrist. "My wrist is bothering me, but it was a great team win for us. And I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team win," he said.

Mirroring the Wizards' season in general, Beal often looked overwhelmed during his first few months in the league, showing some ability to handle the ball and a good deal of poise, but little of the shooting skill that was supposed to make him such a weapon.

In the first couple weeks of January, like the Wizards' performance as a whole, Beal's game began to come together. Nine games into the month, Beal was averaging 19.2 points per game on 48 percent shooting, knocking down 60 percent of his shots from three-point range.

Since suffering the injury late in the fourth quarter of Washington's win over the Denver Nuggets, that efficient shooting has once again been absent from his game. While the Wizards are still 3-2 in the past five games, Beal's making just 38 percent of his shots and 28 percent from long range.

Still, the Wizards are finally competitive, and Beal says, "It’s a different feeling. It’s always fun when you’re winning."

Even if the wrist keeps giving Beal some trouble, don't expect him to sit out unless doctors tell him he needs to. "It’s resisting my release and the way I shoot it and it’s still not 100 percent the way I want to shoot it, but I’m going to fight through and tough it out. I just got to stay healthy, as best as I can," Beal told reporters.

With that said, given where the Wizards are in the standings, Beal's development should be the top priority, and doing anything to risk that needs to be avoided. The injury doesn't appear to be serious, but as Bullets Forever writes, this is a situation that, "needs to be treated with a lot of caution."

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