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More frustration for Bradley Beal: Suns star won't play again until 2024

The Phoenix Suns' "Big Three" era is still awaiting a proper liftoff -- and with confirmation Monday that Bradley Beal will miss at least the next two weeks, liftoff has been postponed to sometime in 2024.

Beal had just returned from a back injury that included a great deal of nerve pain before he suffered this new injury, which is bad news for a Suns team that continues to hang around in the Western Conference playoff picture but remains unconvincing -- and unable to keep its superstar players on the floor.

Kevin Durant had some strong words to say about Draymond Green's after his incident

How Beal rolled his ankle

Beal on Friday night was playing his third game since returning from the back injury -- an issue with a disc in his back that led to nerve pain in his legs. But after only six minutes on the floor, Beal landed awkwardly while landing from a three-point attempt and rolled his right ankle.

Beal did not finish the game, which Phoenix went on to lose 139-122 at Footprint Center. The three-time NBA All-Star was ruled out of Sunday's home game against his former team, the Washington Wizards, which ended in a 112-108 win for the Suns.

Where do the Suns go from here?

Phoenix's comeback victory over Washington brought its record to 14-12. On some level, that has to be disappointing to owner Mat Ishbia, who sanctioned the dismissal of previous head coach Monty Williams and gave the go-ahead to trade for Beal -- triggering a major overhaul of the Suns' roster in the process.

New head coach Frank Vogel, regarded as a strong defensive mind, is presiding over a team that ranks 18th in points allowed per 100 possessions and has won only three times over the past nine games. Beal, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant have played portions of two games together, and the lack of star power has exposed Phoenix's relatively-shallow bench depth.

With almost one-third of the regular season complete, the Suns have a two-game edge over the Golden State Warriors for the 10th seed in the West -- the final play-in seed. It's a long way from where many observers expected Phoenix to be in the standings, and a push for a top-four seed in the conference is much harder without a healthy Beal's volume scoring.

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