Bradley Beal will not play for the Washington Wizards when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes in Florida because of a right rotator cuff injury.
Beal had been bothered by the injured shoulder since mid-January but had not missed any games before the season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard, however, said the team is worried that the guard will not be able to get back to full speed coming out of the lengthy stoppage and could suffer further damage.
"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," Sheppard said.
"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 flourishing on the court before the season went on pause, averaging 35.5 points in his final 23 games – including back-to-back 50-point performances late in February.
His average of a career-best 30.5 points per game on the season trailed only the Houston Rockets' James Harden's scoring average of 34.4.
"This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team," Beal said.
"I wanted to help my team-mates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my team-mates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made."
The Wizards had the Eastern Conference’s ninth-best record at 24-40 at the time the season went on pause, but were five and a half games back of the eighth-place Orlando Magic with only eight games to catch them in the NBA's restart at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex outside of Orlando.