The Doctor’s Room will examine between four and six NBA injuries to prominent players on a weekly basis, detailing their specific ailments, prognosis, and expected return dates. Here’s last week’s edition.
In this week’s edition of The Doctor’s Room, we examine Kyrie Irving’s chances of returning to the Brooklyn Nets’ roster soon. He could begin practicing after the break but his return is not imminent.
Paul George remains limited by his hammy, while Dame Lillard enters the Room and KAT could miss multiple games for the Wolves.
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NBA Injuries Update – Kyrie Irving’s return TBD
Ailment: Right knee sprain
Diagnosed: February 2
Expected return: Week to week
Fantasy benefactors: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie
It seems like Kyrie Irving appears in The Doctor’s Room every week, huh? Well, the man is extraordinarily talented, but he doesn’t seem to catch a break with injuries. After missing a chunk of the season with a shoulder ailment, he was diagnosed with a right knee sprain on February 2.
At the time, the injury was deemed as a week to week situation. He hasn’t played since February 1 and there is still no set timetable for his return. But there is good news: Kenny Atkinson said that the star point guard could return to practice right after the All-Star break.
The coach stated that he and the team will have a better idea of when Kyrie Irving would be coming back after he puts together a few practice sessions. That will come after the All-Star break.
For now, Irving’s status for the Nets’ game on Thursday vs. the Philadelphia remains up in the air. When he comes back, he will pad his already lofty season averages of 27.4 PPG, 2.8 3PM, 5.2 RPG, 6.4 APG and 1.4 SPG.
Without Kyrie Irving dominating the ball in Brooklyn, the most obvious fantasy benefactors are Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie. Once the point guard returns, Dinwiddie will be the third option offensively.
Ailment: left hamstring strain
Diagnosed: January 2; aggravated on Thursday, February 13
Expected return: Week to week
Fantasy benefactors: Marcus Morris, Landry Shamet
The Clippers’ small forward can’t seem to get over the hump when it comes to his hamstring injury. He initially suffered the ailment on January 2, and since that moment, he has been playing through it.
George had to be removed from Thursday’s game after just 14 minutes, although coach Doc Rivers somewhat downplayed the decision.
“He just told me that he felt his hamstring again,” Rivers said. “He said it wasn’t bad. I said you shouldn’t have told me that. I don’t think he wanted to come out. But once you tell me your hamstring, you feel anything, we have an All-Star break coming up, it’s a no-brainer for us… I’m a little concerned about that one because that’s the second time now, maybe third. Listen, I don’t know what to do, but I know rest you have to do and we’ll see.”
It is, indeed, the third strain of his left hamstring this year. He could miss a few games after the break, but it isn’t clear how many, at least not right now. Marcus Morris and Landry Shamet should be the direct benefactors of George’s injury. Like Kyrie Irving, the star forward is becoming a mainstay in The Doctor’s Room.
George is averaging 21.7 PPG, 3.3 3PM, 6.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.3 SPG and 0.5 BPG this season.
Ailment: right groin strain
Diagnosed: February 12
Expected return: 1-2 weeks
Fantasy benefactors: Anfernee Simons, CJ McCollum
The usually durable Damian Lillard showed that he is human. The point guard strained his right groin against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, February 12. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined that he will miss the next 1-2 weeks.
He avoided a tear, as he didn’t hear a pop, but will need to rest so the injury can heal. He won’t participate in the All-Star game or the three-point shooting contest. If he takes the whole two weeks on the sheld, it would mean that he missed three contests.
Anfernee Simons went off for a season-high 22 points (7-of-12 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with seven rebounds, one assist and six 3-pointers in 28 minutes against Memphis. He will be the prime beneficiary of Dame’s injury. CJ McCollum will also handle the ball more.
Lillard is averaging 29.5 PPG, 3.9 3PM, 4.4 RPG, 7.9 APG and 1.0 SPG. Like Kyrie Irving to the Nets and Paul George to the Clippers, he is vital to his team.
Ailment: right groin strain
Diagnosed: January, played through the injury until February 10
Expected return: week to week (he will miss “multiple games” after the All-Star break)
Fantasy benefactors: Naz Reid, Juancho Hernangomez
February 10 was the last time that Karl-Anthony Towns took part in a game. He has been out with a left wrist injury since that day, although he has been battling the ailment since January. Coach Ryan Saunders said this injury is “not something we control.”
According to The Athletic, Towns is “expected [to] miss multiple games” after the All-Star break. We will call him week to week for now given that the team ruled him out for several contests in advance.
According to Saunders’ remarks – he said the Wolves would “try to push forward” without Towns – the big man won’t be playing anytime soon. In his absence, Naz Reid will be the man to pick up from the wire. Juancho Hernangomez had a double-double vs. the Hornets on Wednesday and will also benefit from KAT’s absence.
Towns is having a stellar fantasy season, with averages of 26.5 PPG, 3.3 3PM, 10.8 RPG, 4.4 APG, 0.9 SPG and 1.2 BPG.
Got more questions about recent NBA injuries? Leave a question for Andres in the comments below.
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