Report: Bradley Beal could return for Phoenix Suns as soon as this weekend

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns star guard Bradley Beal reportedly could return to the team as soon as this weekend.

Beal has been sidelined since injuring his ankle against the New York Knicks back on Dec. 15. He’s missed the Suns’ last five games.

“The Suns, they know they need to get healthy,” NBA insider Shams Charania said. “They do need to start winning games. And that starts with Bradley Beal being back in the lineup, how much he eases the load for everyone on that team. He creates mismatches, and he makes everyone’s life easier.

“They need him back on the floor. We haven’t seen that Big 3 for more than one full game. And that’s a problem for Phoenix – getting him back in the lineup.”

Charania shared the updated timeline for Beal’s return to the court.

“I’m told he is progressing,” Charania said. “He is ahead of schedule, and I’m told he could return as soon as this weekend.”

Phoenix plays the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, Dec. 29, but the team has a game over the weekend as well. It will take on the Orlando Magic on Sunday, Dec. 31.

It would be huge for the Suns to get Beal back in the lineup, especially since they haven’t gotten to see Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant truly mesh together on the floor.

Injuries have limited Beal to just six games so far in the 2023-24 season. The three-time All-Star missed the start of the season with a back injury, making his season debut on Nov. 8. He appeared in just three games before going down again with an injury for the Suns.

In the six games that he’s played, Beal is averaging 14.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. While those numbers are down from his previous seasons, he’s only played 25.2 minutes per game this season as the Suns try to ease him into action.

Through 30 games, the Suns are just 15-15 and hold the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference. Despite the team’s star power, it hasn’t been able to win at a high rate.

If Beal can return, it may help make up for some of the depth issues the Suns have dealt with since making trades for both Beal and Kevin Durant in the past calendar year.

Beal, who averages 22.1 points per game for his career, should improve the Suns’ playoff chances once he is healthy enough to play.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.