Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal did not practice Tuesday, but is walking without crutches and only a slight limp after spraining his left ankle Sunday in a 90-87 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
In addition to causing fans' hearts to collectively seize, the injury will most likely keep Beal out of tonight's road contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"I'm not sure," Beal said when asked if he would be available. "Depends on how good I feel. I'm day-to-day. We'll just have to see. I really can't do anything mobile yet. It'll probably be another day or so before I get back into the groove."
After the Sixers game, John Wall told reporters that Beal had already been playing with a high ankle sprain to his right foot. Beal left Verizon Center with crutches and reportedly had some intense pain in his ankle Monday morning.
"It was throbbing, but it's just part of the process. It's just a sprain, so that's a good thing," Beal said. "Swelled up a little bit, but I kept it on ice and the swelling has gone down. It's just a little sore right now."
If Beal misses tonight's game, it will be his eighth this season due to injury. Beginning Jan. 30 he sat out five games with a nagging sore wrist, and he also missed two games in December with a sore back. As a rookie, Beal has had more than his fair share of scary falls and ugly bumps, including chipping his front teeth on Cartier Martin's forehead during a Feb. 21 practice.
"Yeah, I have injuries, but to me everything is mental. The mind beats the body any day. It's really just how you approach things, or how you can overcome a certain obstacle," Beal said. "There's always going to be challenges in your life or a little adversity, but it's how you recover from it and how you retaliate. I view it as a setback, but at the same time it's like a major comeback. How you're going to retaliate, how you're going to pick up from it. This little injury won't bother me at all. I'm still going to be mentally strong and tough enough to beat it."
Beal said after the Sixers game that he had been dealing with minor ankle injuries all season, and reiterated Tuesday that strengthening them would be one of his offseason goals.