For the first time in more than a week, the Washington Wizards are nearing returning to the court for competitive play following a lengthy coronavirus-related layoff.
The Wizards have confirmed that they were cleared to resume practices on Wednesday evening:
UPDATE: We have been cleared to return to the court tonight for practice.— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 20, 2021
Coach Brooks and Bradley Beal will speak to the media after practice.
Washington has been out of action since notching a 128-107 win over the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 11 and had five consecutive contests called off amid a COVID-19 outbreak that involved at least seven players and one staff member testing positive for the virus. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski previously reported that Friday's game between the Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks could be pushed back even if Washington practices during the midweek because the team has been out of action for so long.
As of now, that matchup remains set for Friday night at Milwaukee.
Wednesday's clash between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers became the 16th NBA game postponed due to COVID-19 setbacks since the season tipped off on Dec. 22. The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced earlier in the day that 11 new players tested positive for COVID-19 from Jan. 13 through Wednesday.
Twenty-seven players have tested positive over the past two weeks.