Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Injury: Right foot tendon injury
Projected Return Date: Late March
The Lakers announced yesterday that LeBron has a right foot tendon injury, which will be re-evaluated in three weeks. Emphasis on re-evaluated not healed. Meaning, three weeks is the minimum time he will be out and it could be longer than that. If you have LeBron on your Fantrax Fantasy Basketball team, a decision will have to be made. Depending on what your league settings are regarding IR spots and play-off weeks, and who the best player available on the waivers is, LeBron might not be of use this fantasy season. Of course, if your league runs until the end of the NBA regular season, and you expect your team to get through the fantasy playoffs, definitely keep James around.
Recommendation: Weigh your options.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Injury: Left high ankle sprain
Projected Return Date: Within a week
It has been reported that Curry will return during the Warriors upcoming three-game road trip. That means it’ll be either on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday. Curry’s return will have the strongest impact on Donte DiVincenzo, who ranks as the 45th-best 9-cat player in games Curry isn’t playing but 145th in games with Curry. So this will likely be the last hurrah for DiVincenzo’s fantasy value this season.
Recommendation: Time to move on from Donte DiVincenzo.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Injury: Right ankle fracture
Projected Return Date: Next season
With his fourth ankle injury of the season, LaMelo Ball will have to bow out for the year. Ultimately, Ball played in 36 games and missed 46 with ankle injuries this season. Obviously, there is no reason to keep him on a fantasy roster for the remainder of this season. For 23-24, LaMelo could be a high-risk, high-reward draft target.
Recommendation: Drop Ball.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
Injury: Health and safety protocols, abdominal strain
Projected Return Date: Mid-March
Gilgeous-Alexander missed two games with an ankle injury and has been since been tagged with two more injuries. Gilgeous-Alexander has been a top 5 fantasy player this season so, in a way, this a bigger blow to many fantasy teams than it is to the Oklahoma City Thunder. All joking aside, the Thunder are technically within reach of the last play-in spot and out of reach of the top draft pick odds so, surely, they would prefer SGA to return sooner rather than later. Isaiah Joe and Josh Giddey will be expected to play a bigger role while Gilgeous-Alexander is out. Also, Jalen Williams has been playing like a top 20 player since SGA went out.
Recommendation: Isaiah Joe could be available on the waivers.
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Injury: Right ankle sprain
Projected Return Date: Day-to-day
Simons returned, somewhat unexpectedly, from his ankle sprain right before re-injuring the same ankle against New Orleans on Wednesday. No definitive statement has been released by the Blazers and he is only listed as doubtful for the next game so, hopefully, the injury isn’t that bad this time. Expect Cam Reddish and Matisse Thybulle to hold down the court while Simons is gone. Both rank as top 100 fantasy players in games Simons missed.
Recommendation: Thybulle, Reddish.
Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets
Injury: Left knee soreness
Projected Return Date: Unknown
Surprisingly enough Simmons is rostered in more than half of all fantasy leagues. Did people not get the memo? Firstly, he has not played since the All-Star break. But, more than that, in the 20 previous games he did play in, Simmons ranks outside the top 200 fantasy players. There really is no reason to keep him on the roster for the remainder of this season.
Recommendation: Drop Ben Simmons.