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.
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NBA Injuries Update
Diagnosed: February 7
Expected return: Unknown
Fantasy benefactors: Fred VanVleet, Terrence Davis
Whiplash is not one of the more common NBA injuries. The Mayo Clinic defines it as a neck injury “due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. It is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents but can also result from sports accidents.” Kyle Lowry left Friday’s game and didn’t return, which doesn’t bode well for the short-term. He seemed to be in a significant amount of pain and was holding his right shoulder area and part of his neck. In the event of a prolonged absence, Fred VanVleet could return early-round value and Terrence Davis would also benefit. We will call him day-to-day for now. For the season, he has averages of 19.7 PPG, 2.8 3PM, 4.6 RPG, 7.3 APG and 1.3 SPG.
Ailment: Right knee inflammation
Diagnosed: February 4
Expected return: day to day
Fantasy benefactors: Jordan McRae, Gary Harris
After a down, injury-filled 2018-2019 season, Will Barton is back playing his best ball. A knee injury, however, is currently holding him in the sidelines, as February 4th was the last time he played. He is nursing inflammation and the Nuggets already ruled him out for tonight’s game. Michael Porter Jr. would be the biggest beneficiary of Barton’s absence, but he is currently injured, as well. That means newly-acquired Jordan McRae might get increased minutes for as long as Barton is out, but Gary Harris should see a bump in usage. Barton is averaging 15.1 PPG, 1.8 3PM, 6.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.1 SPG and 0.5 BPG.
Ailment: Right shoulder soreness
Diagnosed: January 6
Expected return: day to day
Fantasy benefactors: Nemanja Bjelica, Harry Giles
One of the year’s biggest revelations, Holmes has already accumulated 15 straight games without suiting up. The injury is to his right shoulder joint and causes soreness. He was supposed to return yesterday but didn’t play and while the Kings haven’t ruled him out for tonight’s contest, it isn’t a sure thing that he participates. According to coach Luke Walton, his shoulder was sore after Wednesday’s practice, so he was limited to non-contact drills the day after. He should be back fairly soon, but if he isn’t, Nemanja Bjelica and Harry Giles will play heavy minutes. Holmes is averaging 13.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 1.4 BPG.
Ailment: Right knee sprain
Diagnosed: February 2
Expected return: Week to week
Fantasy benefactors: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie
This is not the first time that Kyrie visits the doctor’s room with an injury. He missed a lot of time with a shoulder injury earlier in the season, and now he has a right knee sprain from last Saturday’s game. The Nets ruled him out for yesterday’s contest and for Monday’s, as well. When a team dismisses a player three days in advance, you know his absence will be extended. The odds are high that Kyrie won’t be back until after the All-Star break. Caris LeVert finally stepped up his game and we know Spencer Dinwiddie is dependable. Those two will be the primary benefactors of Irving’s time off. The All-Star point guard is averaging 27.4 PPG, 2.8 3PM, 5.2 RPG, 6.4 APG and 1.4 SPG.
Ailment: Moderate right ankle sprain
Diagnosed: January 30
Expected return: February 10 at the earliest
Fantasy benefactors: Jalen Brunson, Delon Wright, Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway
Luka Doncic owners received some good news on Friday, when coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that there was a chance the Slovenian phenom returns before the All-Star break. His right ankle injury forced Carlisle to rule him out for six games at the moment he suffered it, however, so it is not a given that he beats or fulfills that timetable (not to mention that it isn’t the first time he hurts his ankle.) When the Mavericks don’t have the usage monster that Doncic is, basically all the backcourt benefits: Jalen Brunson is playing at a high level while Seth Curry, Delon Wright and Tim Hardaway also handle the ball more and play increased minutes. Doncic is averaging 28.8 PPG, 2.9 3PM, 9.5 RPG, 8.7 APG and 1.0 SPG.
Got more questions about recent NBA injuries? Leave a question for Andres in the comments below.
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