Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal has been experiencing nerve irritation going down his legs as a result of his back injury, according to Shams Charania. The team announced on Nov. 17 that Beal, who has played just three games this season, .
Here’s more from Charania on Beal’s status and the Suns’ decision to shut him down:
“Bradley Beal will be re-evaluated in three weeks, and I’m told he’s been dealing with a disc issue in his back. He’s been gutting through it. He suffered it in training camp, and even at some points he’s dealt with nerve irritation going down his legs from his back. They’ve had multiple MRIs, multiple exams, there’s been nothing structurally wrong, there’s been no major issues.
“The Suns hope that within these three weeks, Bradley Beal will be able to get better and hopefully make a return at some point in December. But for the Suns this was really about instead of him being day-to-day, literally every day and trying to push through it. Any given day he could be 60%, he could be 70% and try to play, the next day he could be 30% and try to go through shootaround and not play. Instead of going through the back and forth, the Suns made the decision to shut Bradley Beal down.”
Giving Beal an extended break to focus on rehab was a wise decision by the Suns. As much as this new big three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Beal — which is still yet to play together — needs to build chemistry, and the team needs to put some wins on the board to ensure a top-six spot in the Western Conference, their primary objective is being healthy in the spring. If that means taking a cautious approach with Beal right now, then that’s what they have to do.
But whether they can get to the playoffs in one piece was already a major concern given the injury histories of their stars, and this Beal news only worsens those fears. Disc problems and nerve irritation immediately make you think of Ben Simmons, who has never quite been right since he started dealing with those issues a few years ago. That doesn’t mean Beal is necessarily going to go that route, but you never want to hear about players dealing with nerve pain.
For now, the Suns will have to make do without Beal, which should be an easier prospect now that Devin Booker is back in the lineup. They’ve won three games in a row to improve to 7-6, including a double-overtime thriller against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, and now sit in eighth place in the West.