Just in time for what could be the Wizards' most important stretch of the season, the minutes for shooting guard Bradley Beal will increase starting Saturday vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Verizon Center, CSN Washington has learned.
Beal has been playing under a minutes restriction since returning from a stress reaction on his lower right leg Dec. 16.
Friday, Beal went for an MRI after practice to determine if he was ready to play extended minutes. He told CSN on Saturday morning that the results showed progress and he'd get a bump over the 30-minute limit he has played with for the last 23 games.
Exactly how many more? Beal said he won't be sure until coach Randy Wittman and the team's athletic training staff discuss the matter before tip off vs. the Thunder (CSN, 7 p.m . ET).
Beal also told CSN he'd like to compete in the Three-Point Shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend, which is Feb. 14-16, but a decision has not been made. If he is given the green light that his leg is OK to handle the extra work, Beal said he will accept the offer.
Beal, who is averaging 17.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, missed nine games when he was diagnosed with the stress injury in late November. It was the second time in eight months -- and in a different spot on the same bone, the fibula -- that he'd developed the reaction. A stress reaction is a precursor to a season-ending fracture that could lead to surgery.
The Wizards (22-23) have their next five games at home, with the first three vs. the NBA's top five teams in the Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs.