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NBA Injury Analysis: In Street Clothes...


In Street Clothes...
by Jeff Stotts, ATC, MAT, LAT, PES
RotoWire Injury Expert


Michael Redd


The Milwaukee Bucks took a huge hit as their leading scorer, guard Michael Redd, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee. Redd suffered the injury when he came down on the foot of teammate Luke Ridnour after missing a shot during the Bucks' win over the Kings. A MRI confirmed the torn ligaments and Redd is currently deciding when he will undergo reconstructive surgery on the knee. If you are Bucks fan looking for a silver-lining, try to be glad the injury occurred when it did. The typical rehabilitation and recovery process for an injury of this magnitude is generally six to eight months. Barring any setbacks, Redd should be ready for next season's training camp and will likely be able to return to the court for the 2009-2010 season. Redd has already spoken with USA teammate Dwyane Wade about what to expect while rehabilitating a knee injury and appears ready to tackle the challenge head on.

Andrei Kirilenko


Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko will be shelved for at least several weeks after undergoing a minor surgery to remove a bone fragment in his sore right ankle. Kirilenko had been suffering from constant inflammation in the ankle which was initially treated with a series of cortisone shots. However the ankle did not respond like hoped to this treatment and the decision to undergo surgery was made. It sounds like Kirilenko is suffering from osteochondritis dissecans, a condition in which a fragment of cartilage or bone detaches and floats within the joint space of the ankle. The loose chip can cause the ankle to lock or catch when moving and can drastically limit an athlete's ability to jump and cut. Obviously with an athlete like Kirilenko, who is so active on both ends of the court, this injury can have a serious negative impact on their game. The Jazz have not set a definitive timetable for the Russian's return but a return by the All-Star break would be surprising.

Gerald Wallace and DJ Augustin


Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace continues to live up to his nickname "Crash" as he suffered a fractured rib and collapsed lung after colliding with Lakers center Andrew Bynum is his teams' double-overtime win. Wallace was helped off the court and spent the next several days in a Los Angeles hospital. The fractured rib is fortunately a non-displaced fracture, meaning the broken parts of the bone did not shift or move. Displaced fractures take longer to mend and run the risk of damaging neighboring structures like muscle. The rib itself will likely heal within three to four weeks but expect Wallace to return wearing a protective brace to support and stabilize the injury site. A pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, occurs when the pleural cavity of a lung fills with air, resulting in a change in pressure that causes the lung to collapse. Wallace had a chest tube inserted that enabled his doctors to reinflate the collapsed lung. The Bobcats will be without Wallace until he can run and jump without pain in the rib and his breathing has returned to normal.


However it isn't all bad news for Bobcats fans, as rookie point guard DJ Augustin is inching toward returning from an abdominal strain. Augustine suffered the injury in a game against the Wizards and has missed the eight games since. Strains to the abdominal muscles can be excruciatingly painful and often develop hematomas in the surrounding tissue. Fortunately it appears Augustine is recovering well and the Bobcats are hopeful he will return within a week to 10 days.

Danny Granger


Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger missed his team's Wednesday night win over the Michael Redd-less Milwaukee Bucks with a knee injury of his own. Granger apparently has been battling this ailment since the summer and unfortunately for fantasy owners it has recently begun bothering him again. Granger was quoted as saying the issue was with the tendon in his right knee that attaches directly to the bone and is necessary for jumping. This implies that he is likely suffering from some tendinitis in the tendon of his quadriceps muscle, a condition often called Jumper's knee. The quadriceps is actually a group of four muscles primarily responsible for straightening the leg and is vital in explosive movements like jumping. The four muscles join together in a common tendon known as the quadriceps femoris tendon. The quadriceps tendon attaches to the lower leg bone known as the tibia. However this tendon is unique because the patella, commonly referred to as the knee cap, floats within this tendon. When this tendon becomes inflamed and irritated the knee can become tender and painful. The Pacers are hopeful the injury will not keep Granger sidelined for long but carefully monitor Granger's availability as this could become a reoccurring issue.

Zach Randolph


With point guard Baron Davis and center Marcus Camby already back in action, the depleted Clippers front court could get another big boost as it appears power forward Zach Randolph will return soon from a bruised left knee. Randolph's recovery process was slowed as he battled a bout of the flu but he was feeling well enough to travel with the team. He hopes to play Monday in a matchup against Miami after missing the team's last 17 games.

Article first appeared on 1/30/09