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Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal returns to COVID-19 protocols

Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal returns to COVID-19 protocols
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (L), shown March 13, 2019, also entered the NBA's COVID-19 protocols Dec. 23 and returned after a week. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal missed Tuesday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder after entering the NBA's COVID-19 protocols for the second time in less than three weeks.

Beal entered the league's health and safety protocols Dec. 23 and returned after missing a week. The three-time All-Star selection said at the time that he didn't have COVID-19 and his absence was related to contact tracing.

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The 28-year-old Beal, who also missed an opportunity to play in the Tokyo Olympics last year after testing positive, was unvaccinated when the 2021-22 season started. He later opted to receive the vaccine for family reasons.

It remains unclear whether Beal tested positive for the coronavirus this time around. If he has tested positive and remains asymptomatic, the NBA's return-to-play protocols allow him to return in six days.

Beal also could exit the league's protocols if he records two consecutive negative tests.

In 34 games this season, Beal has averaged 24 points, 6.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds. The 2012 first-round draft pick averaged a career-best 31.3 points for the Wizards last season.

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Despite playing without Beal, Washington pulled out a 122-118 win over the Thunder on Tuesday night. The Wizards (21-20) are scheduled to play the Orlando Magic (7-34) on Wednesday.

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