NBA Playoffs Injury Tracker

April 16, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments steph curry knee

Throughout the NBA Playoffs, Inside Injuries will provide important updates on all injuries. Some key players like Joel Embiid and Steph Curry are already sidelined. We will keep track of their progress as well as provide valuable insights on new injuries.

IRC = Injury Risk Category (Low, Elevated, High)
HPF = Health Performance Factor (Peak, Above Average, Below Average, Poor)

Updates

Jeff Teague (jammed right pinky)- Teague jammed his right pinky finger and went back to the locker room to get taped up. He returned to the game shortly after, but he didn’t contribute much. The Rockets were already up by about 30 at that point though. Unless Teague suffered a displaced fracture (unlikely considering he returned to the game last night), he should be in the starting lineup for Game 5.

IRC: High
HPF: Poor

P.J. Tucker (left knee injury)- Tucker grabbed his left knee in pain after a fall and limped back to the locker room for further evaluation in Game 4. He returned to the bench after only a few minutes, so this is likely just a minor tweak. Tucker claims he will be ready for Game 5, “no question.”

IRC: Elevated
HPF: Above Average

Shaun Livingston (ankle tweak)– Livingston tweaked his ankle towards the end of Game 3, but he was able to come off the bench in Game 4 for 10 points in 21 minutes. With Curry out, Livingston should continue to see more responsibility.

IRC: High
HPF: Below Average

John Henson (back soreness)- Henson has now sat out Games 3 and 4 with soreness in his back and it’s unclear when he will return. Thon Maker has filled in nicely in Henson’s absence, so he could be a solid streaming option.

IRC: Elevated
HPF: Below Average

Kevin Durant (left ankle tweak)- Durant rolled his left ankle during Thursday’s Game 3 win over the Spurs and went back to the locker room just before the game ended. The injury appears to have just been a minor tweak because he was no worse for the wear in Game 4. With Curry still out, KD will continue to have big opportunities on offense.

IRC: High
HPF: Below Average

Kevin Love (torn ligaments in left thumb)-  Love was injured when he was reached to deflect a pass and his thumb appeared to hit the ball and bend backwards.  Initial X-rays indicated that Love did not suffer a fracture, but further examination revealed partially torn ligaments in Love’s left thumb. He’s been playing through the injury and while it hasn’t cost him any time, he’s struggled to make an impact.

IRC: High
HPF: Poor

Jusuf Nukic (left leg contusion)- Nurkic went to the locker room with a left leg contusion in the second half of Game 2, and though he didn’t return to the game, he did return to the bench late in the third quarter. Contusions generally need week or so to heal, so this shouldn’t affect him for too long. His long injury history is the bigger concern here.

IRC: High
HPF: Below Average

Nikola Mirotic (left ankle roll)- Mirotic rolled his left ankle twice in Tuesday’s Game 2 win, but he continued to play through the injuries for 22 points and 13 rebounds. The first roll happened when he fell out of bounds and rolled his ankle stepping on someone’s foot, and the second came in the fourth quarter when he took a misstep. It hasn’t affected him so far in the series but the ligaments in his ankle aren’t as strong as they should be right now.

IRC: High
HPF: Below Average

John Wall (knee surgery)- John Wall returned to action in late March after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. He still looks rusty at times and admits that he’s not 100% healthy. Right now, the problem is his explosiveness. He is averaging the third most fantasy points per game of any player in the post-season, which is in line with our Above Average Health Performance Factor.

IRC: High
HPF: Above Average

Jimmy Butler (right wrist sprain)– Butler has his right wrist wrapped for Game 1 and didn’t finish with great numbers, scoring 13 points on 4-11 shooting. His wrist could be a big reason why he hasn’t performed as well this post-season. His knee also remains a concern as he continues to work his way back following February surgery.

IRC: Elevated
HPF: Peak

George Hill (back injury)– Hill’s back flared up after Game 1, and bothered him enough through the series to force him to sit out of Game 4. An MRI came back negative, but he just can’t seem to shake the back spasms. This is an injury to watch throughout the rest of the playoffs. Back ailments are tough to get over this quickly.

IRC: High
HPF: Below Average

Donovan Mitchell (bruised left foot)– Mitchell injured his left foot in Game 1, and called it a “stubbed toe.” He played through the bruised toe and wasn’t any worse for the wear in Game 2. It’s possible that the injury flares up if his toe gets stubbed or stepped on again. We are showing a two week Optimal Recovery Time.

IRC: Elevated
HPF: Below Average

Paul George (right hip contusion)– George played through the hip contusion in Game 2 and looked okay, although his shooting took a dive from his 38 points average in the previous two games. This is apparently an aggravation from a previous injury that George originally sustained on March 13. Hip injuries can be very tough for basketball players to play through.

IRC: High
HPF: Poor

Steven Adams (hand injury)– Adams is “fine” after injuring his right hand on a dunk in Game 1. He should be good to go on Wednesday. If Adams was a shooter, we might be more concerned. But as a big man it shouldn’t have much of an impact on his game, hence the “Peak” Health Performance Factor.

IRC: Elevated
HPF: Peak

Injured Players Entering the Playoffs

*As of April 14, 2018

Steph Curry– MCL sprain

IRC: High
HPF: Poor
Expected Return: late Round 2

 

Kawhi Leonard– quad injury

IRC: High
HPF: Above Average
Expected Return: unknown

 

Joel Embiid– orbital fracture

IRC: High
HPF: Poor
Expected Return: start of Round 2

**Joel Embiid returned to action in Game 3 wearing a high-tech mask. He went through a total of three masks throughout the game as they kept breaking, but he was still able to put up 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and three blocks in 30 minutes.

Marcus Smart– thumb surgery 

IRC: High
HPF: Poor
Expected Return: Game 6, Round 1

 

Moe Harkless– arthroscopic knee surgery

IRC: High
HPF: Poor
Expected Return: late Round 1

**Harkless returned in Tuesday’s Game 2 loss to the Pelicans. He came off the bench with 12 points, five rebounds, and a block and did not appear limited in the 22 minutes he played. His minutes will likely continue to be limited through the series.

Players OUT for the NBA Playoffs

Gordon Hayward– ankle fracture

Kyrie Irving– knee surgery

DeMarcus Cousins– Achilles tear

 

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