by Jeff Stotts
RotoWire Injury Expert
No one in the NBA is immune to injury. While players like Houston's Tracy McGrady or Portland's Greg Oden have rightfully earned the injury prone label, fantasy owners must remember injuries are unpredictable and anyone is capable of suffering an unlucky accident. Take for example Cleveland's Mo Williams. After missing just one game since joining the Cavaliers in 2008, Williams is expected to miss four to six weeks with a left shoulder sprain.
Delonte West was poised to become a solid fantasy addition and started in Cleveland's win over the Lakers. However he suffered an injury to his left ring finger late in the fourth quarter and underwent further tests on Friday that revealed a fracture. The Cavaliers have already ruled West out for their upcoming contest against Oklahoma City and will re-evaluate the injury early next week. If West is able to return soon, remember he is left-handed and the fracture occurred to his shooting-hand, making it likely his shot will be altered. Daniel Gibson will enter the starting lineup and could warrant a waiver wire pickup in most leagues if West misses an extended period of time.
Hamstring strains are a common in basketball and can become nagging, troublesome injuries. In you will recall, Lakers power forward Pau Gasol was sidelined for Los Angeles' first 10 games with a right hamstring strain and has since missed six additional games with a hamstring strain in his left leg. Yet while the treatment for the injury is largely the same, the specific approach in rehab likely varies for Gasol and Roy. Gasol operates in the posts while Roy patrols the perimeter. Gasol requires a firm base to post up his opponent on offense while staying strong on the defensive end. His hamstrings, in addition to his quadriceps muscle group, require strength to carry out this activity. Rehab for Gasol likely focused on strengthening the hamstring to insure full function of the knee as well as the hip, providing him with a solid base to withstand the forces associated with bending and lifting that are necessary for his position.
On the other hand, Roy plays the guard position and often has the ball in his hands, frequently initiating the offense. He must be able to explode quickly past defenders on offense while maintaining quick lateral speed on defense. The hamstrings play a vital role in running and quick movement as they slow the leg as it extends backwards as well as aiding in the initiate of hip motion from a stand-still position. Roy's rehab will work on strengthening the injured leg for the dynamic motions his position requires.
In addition to traditional rehab, it also appears Roy has opted to receive a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) infusion in attempt to quicken the healing process. In the procedure a sample of Roy's blood was drawn and then separated in a machine know as a centrifuge. The protein-concentrated plasma sample is filled with platelets, the part of the blood responsible for clotting. The sample is injected into the injury site in an attempt to accelerate and enhance tissue recovery by improving the natural healing process of the body. The procedure has shown signs of success in other sports, particularly baseball, where several Major League players have undergone the treatment for elbow and knee injuries.
The Blazers will be without Roy for the next five games and plan to re-evaluate the injury prior to a road game against the Mavericks. Jerryd Bayless will continue to start in Roy's absence.
Article first appeared on 1/22/10