NBA Injury Roundup: Mid-Season Checkup

January 29, 2019 | insideinjuries | No Comments

Anthony Davis C/F, Pelicans: left finger fracture

News has been swirling about Anthony Davis in recent days, first about his finger fracture and then regarding a possible trade. Davis suffered a volar plate avulsion fracture in his left index finger last week while swiping for the ball. A second opinion confirmed the fracture, but also suggested that the injury wasn’t as bad as originally feared. It’s possible Davis returns to action at some point this week, but with rumors swirling of a possible trade, there are many factors at play. Davis still has a year left on his contract, so it would be in his best interest to only return when he is 100% healed. The safest return date would be late next week.

Kyle Kuzma F, Lakers: hip strain

Last Friday news broke that Kuzma has been playing through hip strain for a week after he “twisted hard” on a play against the Rockets. Kuzma likely aggravated the strain by attempting to play through it, as he hasn’t played since Friday. Mild hip strains generally take 2-3 weeks to fully heal, so Kuzma needs at least one more week of rest until he will be ready to go. He was able to participate in Tuesday morning’s shootaround, which is a step in the right direction.

Kyrie Irving PG, Celtics: left hip strain

Irving is expected to miss his second game in a row to a left hip strain, being listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s matchup against the Hornets. The point guard was a surprise inactive for Monday’s game, and coach Brad Stevens downplayed the injury to the media. Like Kuzma’s hip strain, Irving’s injury will likely require 2-3 weeks of recovery if it’s just a mild strain. Hip injuries can be tricky and are easily aggravated, so using the entire Optimal Recovery Time to heal is essential to a full recovery.

Tristan Thompson C, Cavaliers: sore left foot

Though Thompson first suffered the left foot strain back on December 10th, the injury is still keeping him on the sidelines. He has missed each of the Cavalier’s past four games related to soreness in his strained left foot and is expected to miss an additional two weeks. Thompson returned after just three weeks when he first suffered the strain back in December, but Inside Injuries calculated a 5 week Optimal Recovery Time for a moderate foot strain. Thompson aggravated the injury because he returned before the strain had completely healed. Now he’s expected to miss at least another 3 weeks of action, but our algorithm suggests he’ll remain High Risk for at least the next 5 weeks.

Jamal Murray G, Nuggets: left ankle sprain

Jamal Murray is going to miss his third straight game on Wednesday due to a left ankle sprain. He suffered the injury on Friday and reportedly dealt with a significant amount of swelling over the weekend. It’s also not a great sign that he is being ruled out of Wednesday’s game so early. If he’s dealing with a mild ankle sprain, the Optimal Recovery Time is 2-3 weeks. If the sprain is more severe (grade 2 – which we think is likely), the ORT is closer to 5 weeks.

Victor Oladipo G, Pacers: ruptured quad tendon

Victor Oladipo underwent season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee. Oladipo suffered the injury early last week and had to be stretchered to the locker room for further evaluation. An MRI the next day confirmed the diagnosis. This injury generally takes at least 12 months to heal, so it’s unlikely that Oladipo is ready for the start of next season.

Lonzo Ball PG, Lakers: left ankle sprain

Ball suffered an ankle sprain a week and a half ago, and an MRI the following day revealed that the extent of the damage was severe, resulting in a Grade 3 sprain. This diagnosis means there is some ligament damage and comes with a 6+ week Optimal Recovery Time, according to the Inside Injuries algorithm. The Lakers have said they expect Ball to be out for the next 4-6 weeks, but it will likely be longer than that until he’s back at 100%. His latest injury only adds to the durability concerns that already exist for Ball.

Jeff Teague G, Timberwolves: left foot soreness

Teague has now been battling lingering left foot and ankle soreness for a week and has been ruled out of his fifth consecutive game on Wednesday. It’s also not great news that he was ruled out over 24 hours before tip-off. Teague is likely dealing with a foot sprain, an injury that usually requires 2-3 weeks to heal if it’s mild. If the injury is more severe (a moderate, grade 2 sprain), the ORT jumps to 5 weeks. Teague has been dealing with lingering left ankle issues all season, so don’t expect this to go away until he takes the time to get back to 100%.

Jimmy Butler G/F, 76ers: wrist injury

The 76ers received some good news when Jimmy Butler returned to play on Tuesday night against the Lakers. Butler has missed the past 3 games with a minor wrist injury. An MRI did not reveal structural damage, and Butler met with a wrist specialist on Friday for a second opinion. Everything must have looked okay because Butler was back at practice on Monday. It’s worth noting that the Timberwolves did list Butler with a right wrist injury back in September, but that was during his holdout. Hopefully this doesn’t become a lingering problem.

DeMar DeRozan G/F, Spurs: left knee soreness

DeRozan has now missed three consecutive games to left knee soreness, and Inside Injuries expects him to miss another 1-2 weeks, at least. He was ruled out of Tuesday’s games a full 24 hours before tipoff, suggesting he’s still a ways away. Mild knee injuries can take 2-3 weeks to heal, and this could be anything from a bone bruise to a ligament sprain.

Clint Capela C, Rockets: torn ligament in right thumb

Though it happened a few weeks ago, it’s still worth mentioning that Clint Capela suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb and underwent successful surgery to repair the injury. The Rockets gave Capela a 4-6 week recovery time, which is about two weeks shy of the Inside Injuries 8 week ORT. Capela is already two weeks removed from the injury, which puts his Healthy to Return Date in early March.

Returning Soon:

LeBron James F, Lakers: groin strain

Some great news came out of LA on Tuesday suggesting that LeBron James is very close to making his return from a groin strain. He was able to go through shootaround Tuesday as a full participant, and his return will likely come within the week. James has now missed 16 games and is exactly 5 weeks removed from his Christmas day injury. He has reached his 5 week ORT for a moderate (grade 2) groin strain according to the Inside Injuries algorithm.