We break down the biggest Week 17 NBA injuries with analysis on how much time the players will need to recover and how the injuries may affect performance.
Week 17 NBA Injuries
LaMarcus Aldridge SAS: sore right knee
Aldridge has been a rock for the Spurs without Kawhi Leonard, but they may be without him until after the All-Star break. Aldridge is dealing with a sore right knee. Given that he has already been ruled out of the first game of the back-to-back set on Monday, it’s likely that the Spurs hold him out through the break. That would be almost two full weeks of rest, which is in line with our two week Optimal Recovery Time.
Russell Westbrook OKC: left ankle injury
Russell Westbrook missed his first game of the season on Thursday with a left ankle injury. There isn’t too much concern here, but Westbrook’s crazy usage was bound to catch up to him at some point. He has proven to be a durable player, with the exception of a two-year stretch with lingering knee problems. With both Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony (ankle) at less than 100%, Paul George is an excellent DFS target this week.
Carmelo Anthony OKC: right ankle sprain
Carmelo Anthony suffered a right ankle sprain six minutes into last Tuesday’s game, and he hasn’t played since. There is no word yet on when the Thunder expect to have Melo back, but the Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a 2-3 week Optimal Recovery Time. He is about two weeks away from being ready to return. Anthony has a long injury history, and the Thunder likely won’t take any chances with their 33 year old veteran.
Kristaps Porzingis NYK: torn left ACL
Kristaps Porzingis’ season came to an early end last Tuesday after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. Porzingis is extremely injury prone and has been a High Injury Risk all year, but this is the first season-ending injury of his career. His recovery timetable is currently 9-12 months.
Jusuf Nurkic POR: lower back soreness, right hip soreness
Jusuf Nurkic started experiencing soreness in his right hip and lower back in Sunday’s game and never returned after going to the locker room. It’s unclear when he sustained the injury. The Blazers only play once before the All-Star break, so our guess is they hold him out through the break and give him a full 12 days of rest.
Draymond Green GS: sprain left index finger
It’s not clear when he sustained the injury, but Green was listed on the injury report on Monday with a sprained index finger. It could just be a precaution, given that coach Kerr has already said he plans on giving Green periodic rest this season. The Warriors have two games before the All-Star break, and it’s possible Green sits out of both.
Dirk Nowitzki DAL: left ankle swelling
Dirk Nowitzki missed his first game of the season on Sunday after being listed on the injury report with “left ankle effusion” which is another word for swelling. Teams have a tendency to rest their veterans as well as being overly-cautious leading up to the All-Star break, so that could be what’s going on here. The 39 year old expressed frustration last year after suffering an Achilles injury, and if he gets seriously injured or the minor injuries start to add up, it could lead to retirement.
Stephen Curry GS: right ankle injury
Uh oh. It’s never good news to see Steph Curry favoring his right ankle, and that’s exactly what he was doing heading into a timeout late in the first quarter of Saturday’s game. He said after the game that his troublesome right ankle is “fine,” but we aren’t convinced. He missed an 11 game stretch in December after he sprained the ankle and has tweaked it at least a handful of other times this season. Stability is a real concern here. It’s possible Curry needs an additional procedure at some point after the season. Curry has cooled off recently, and while he should always be started in season-long leagues, he may not be the best streaming option.
Joel Embiid PHI: ankle injury
It’s always a concern when Joel Embiid is on the injury report, and this time it’s an ankle injury. He was on the injury report in each of his last two games, but he didn’t miss any time. The 76ers are generally very cautious with their big guy, so this must have been an extremely minor injury. Still, his High Injury Risk is a concern, and his history with lower body injuries is a glaring problem. He shouldn’t be trusted in fantasy hoops as he plays through this injury.
Seth Curry DAL: left tibia surgery
Seth Curry hasn’t logged a single minute so far this season due to a stress reaction in his left tibia. He will undergo season-ending surgery as it isn’t improving as expected. The recovery is expected to take 12-14 weeks, so he could be ready by the July 1st free agency date.
Kelly Olynyk MIA: left shoulder strain
Kelly Olynyk left last Monday’s game with a left shoulder strain. The good news is the X-rays came back negative and there is currently no MRI scheduled. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Olynyk won’t be a good starting option for the next two weeks according to Inside Injuries’ metrics.
Ricky Rubio UTA: left hip soreness
Left hip soreness forced Ricky Rubio from Friday’s game against the Hornets. He was evaluated in the locker room and did not return to the game. Rubio was apparently in considerable pain, but it’s still unclear exactly what he is dealing with. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a grade 1 hip strain and a 2-3 week Optimal Recovery Time. If Rubio does play before the All-Star break, he shouldn’t be trusted in fantasy hoops.
Tony Parker SAS: back tightness
The Spurs are always cautious with their injured veterans, so it wasn’t a surprise to see Tony Parker on the sidelines on Saturday. He is dealing with back tightness. It is very possible that the Spurs choose to hold out Parker until after the break. Parker has a long injury history and made his return only two months ago from torn quadriceps.
Dejounte Murray SAS: sprained left ankle
Dejounte Murray injured his left ankle on a drive to the basket on Wednesday. The Spurs are calling it a left ankle sprain. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a grade 1 sprain, an injury that comes with a two week Optimal Recovery Time. Even if the Spurs do play him before the All-Star break, he shouldn’t be considered a healthy option in season-long or daily fantasy. With Parker also injured, Patty Mills and Derrick White could be interesting streaming options.
Milos Teodosic LAC: sore right foot
Milos Teodosic’s sore right foot wasn’t a huge concern, and it’s great news that his plantar fascia injury earlier in the season was to his left foot. He is expected to return from a two game absence on Monday, but the Inside Injuries metics show he won’t be healthy for another week.
OG Anunoby TOR: right ankle sprain
Anunoby was trying to avoid a screen on Sunday when he tweaked his right ankle. He was ruled out quickly after going back to the locker room, but the Raptors don’t think he’ll be out for long. “I think he’s okay,” coach Dwane Casey said after the game. The Inside Injuries algorithm metrics don’t agree. We are calculating a grade 2 ankle sprain, an injury that comes with a four week Optimal Recovery Time.
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