The Wizards’ fortunes had gone from bad to worse on the injury front going into Saturday’s home game vs. the Phoenix Suns -- losing two forwards in addition to already missing key guards -- but got some good news before tipoff.
Rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal, who had missed six games in a row with a left ankle sprain and initially was ruled out, would play Saturday.
A.J. Price (groin) missed third consecutive, and the Wizards added forward Trevor Ariza (left knee) to the injury list. Forward Chris Singleton wasn't with the team though it wasn't because of injury. He had an excused absence because of a death in the family.
That leaves the Wizards (22-42) with just 10 healthy players and Beal, who appeared to still favor the ankle after he warmed up before the game. Coach Randy Wittman tries to keep his rotation to eight. Singleton’s minutes have been scarce anyway, but his absence means little-used Jan Vesely is likely to get more minutes after Trevor Booker off the bench.
Price has been the backup for John Wall at point guard, but his absence has meant more minutes for Garrett Temple who has been starting at shooting guard in Beal’s absence.
Ariza's knee issues are troubling because soreness forced him to miss the second half of a 95-90 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last week. He returned to play the next two games but was ineffective in Friday's 96-87 win vs. the New Orleans Hornets. Ariza shot just 2-for-10 for four points.
The Wizards will have played four games in five days after the Suns and get the day off Sunday. They then embark on a four-game road trip that starts at the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday, a rematch at the Suns on Wednesday and ends on with back-to-back games at the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors next Friday and Saturday.