The Wizards announced Tuesday that Beal is battling a right rotator cuff injury. General manager Tommy Sheppard commented on the development:
"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. 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."
Beal was posting career highs in points (30.5) and assists (6.1) while hauling down 4.2 rebounds per game. He had been the engine of the Wizards' No. 6 scoring offense, which posts 115.6 points per contest.
Beal has largely been injury-free during his NBA career. Wrist and fibula ailments kept him out for 17 combined games in 2014-15, and leg, pelvis and shoulder problems were mostly responsible for his missing 27 contests the following year.
However, Beal has only missed seven games since, and that includes a streak of 194 consecutive regular-season games played, dating back to the end of the 2016-17 season.
That ended Dec. 28 when he sat for his team's 107-100 loss to the New York Knicks with lower right leg soreness. He missed two games but reaggravated the injury during his return on Jan. 1 and sat five more contests.
The Wizards have been hit by injuries all year, with rotation members Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans (among others) all missing stretches.
Washington looked like it would be hard-pressed to compete for anything more than a low-seeded playoff spot in the midst of its rebuild, and injuries have piled up to the point where the 24-40 Wizards are ninth in the Eastern Conference.
They're one of 22 teams who are taking part in the league's resumption of play following a four-and-a-half month layoff because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Games are occurring at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Washington has eight seeding games to bridge the 5.5-game gap on the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic. Without Beal on the floor, and combined with Bertans' absence, what was already a difficult task becomes even harder.