The Washington Wizards are now recovering from another significant preseason injury: Promising guard Bradley Beal is expected to miss up to two months with a fractured left wrist.
Beal sustained the injury in the first half of Friday's exhibition game against the Charlotte Hornets in Greenville, South Carolina, when he was fouled by P.J. Hairston on a play at the basket. Beal remained in the game to shoot his free throws but did not return.
Beal sat out the second half due to what the team diagnosed during the game as a sprain to his non-shooting wrist. On Saturday, the team confirmed an MRI revealed a non-displaced fracture of the scaphoid bone in his left wrist, and it will require surgery.
The Wizards did not disclose when Beal will have the procedure, but Beal tweeted that the surgery will take place Sunday.
Surgery today... Big Thanks to everyone supporting me and keeping me positive...Minor setback for a MAJOR COMEBACK !!— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) October 12, 2014
A league source said the third-year guard is likely to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. Beal was expected to pick up from a breakout second season, in which he averaged more than 17 points and helped lead Washington to a first-round playoff series win over the Chicago Bulls. Playing alongside All-Star point guard John Wall, Beal is part of what is widely considered one of the best backcourts in the league.
But injuries and suspensions threaten to disrupt the start of a season with lofty expectations for a team that added future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce in free agency and brought back the majority of its primary rotation from the past season's team, which lost to Indiana in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Beal's setback came a day after the Wizards announced reserve forward Kris Humphries would miss about a month after surgery Thursday to repair nerve damage in his finger. Humphries suffered the injury Monday in the preseason opener against Chicago, when he caught his hand near the rim as he attempted to block a shot.
Also during that game against the Bulls, an altercation between Pierce and Chicago center Joakim Noah led to the NBA's fining both players $15,000. The league also suspended four Wizards players, including power forward Nene, for the Oct. 29 season opener against Miami.
Washington was already short on depth at shooting guard before Beal's injury. Martell Webster remains out of action as he recovers from an offseason back procedure.