Injuries Plague the Wizards

Capital Games welcomes back Dr. Ray Solano, a chiropractor with a specialty in sports medicine who has been contributing posts about how injuries affect our teams.

The Washington Wizards announced Tuesday morning that shooting guard Bradley Beal has a stress injury in his right fibula and will be out for at least two weeks.

The injury was diagnosed by team doctors following an MRI exam on Monday after Beal experienced soreness in his right leg. The location is the proximal, or upper, area of his fibula as opposed to the distal, or lower, area like it was last season. Regardless, Beal says he feels like the injury was caught in time to prevent further damage to his leg, unlike last season.

"I could probably duke it out, but I did last year and it didn't work out too well" said Beal.

It's important to realize that two weeks is when Beal will be re-evaluated, not necessarily when he will return to action. The fact that Beal has a history with the right leg leads me to believe that it could be upward of three to six weeks before he is back on the court for Washington.

Repeated stress injuries to bones can wreak havoc on the body and prolong recovery. Prior to this recent injury, Beal was leading the league with minutes per game at 40.2. Some question if Beal was playing too much and too soon after being sidelined with a stress injury in the same leg for nearly four months last season.

"I've been playing non-stop ... playing a lot of minutes, so that constant stress and pounding on my leg has been influential," said Beal.

This is a tough injury for the Wizards to make up for if Beal is going to end up missing more than two weeks. Beal has been great in the early part of this season. He's averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from 3-point range.

Another notable injury -- and one that remains a mystery -- is that to rookie Otto Porter. The team has yet to release a statement on Porter's MRI results from last month and all we really know is that he suffered a hip flexor injury in mid-September. For non-athletes, an MRI report is usually generated within 24 hours. We can only speculate that Porter's hip joint is intact and that the condition is indeed just a soft tissue injury.

Wizards fans should not push the panic button yet. It is possible for a hip flexor injury to take as long as it has to recover for Porter -- almost 8 weeks. Porter suffered a hamstring injury to the same side earlier this year, which leads me to believe that the hip flexor injury recovery has been prolonged.

The muscles that move the hips and knees work as a unit. When injury to one area has occurred, other muscles compensate to maintain normal movement patterns.

Despite the length of his recovery, I feel Porter will be back before the year is over. If I had to guess, I would say in the next two weeks. However, expect a gradual return to play for Porter. Keep in mind that he has missed a lot of valuable time with the team.

Regardless, it will be nice to see the third overall pick in the 2013 draft take to the court for Washington.

Dr. Raymond Solano is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with a specialty in sports medicine, and a frequent guest on News4 Midday. Follow @DrRaySolano on Twitter.

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