In Street Clothes...
by Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Hoops Editor
Many doctors will describe bone contusions - also called "bone bruises" as very subtle fractures. Though there's no actual break, the bone and surrounding tissue reacts the same way.
Depending on the severity of the injury, contusions can take even longer than fractures to heal fully, but based on the team's estimate of three weeks, it sounds like Barbosa's is fairly minor. Assuming no setbacks, he should be able to play in the post season - assuming the Suns make it that far.
It seems safe to assume that this is a mild sprain - Allen is travelling with the team on their current road trip. That said, the Celtics have an enormous lead in the Atlantic Division, and will most likely play it safe and give their all-star the time to heal fully.
Obviously, he won't be terribly effective playing with one hand.
With hopes of a playoff berth fading, the Pacers' best course of action may be to shut Daniels down for a little while to see if the injury responds to rest. Pacer coach Jim O'Brien has been resistant to the idea of going with a "youth movement" - but in this case, he may not have a choice. Rookie Brandon Rush is the likely replacement if Daniels is sidelined.
Knick rookie Danilo Gallinari was in a similar situation with his back trouble. An injury suffered last summer continues to plague the rookie, and though he did manage to get into some games for New York and play fairly well, he reportedly needed hours of stretching and therapy just to get loose enough to play on game days. Gallinari returned to Italy this week for another opinion on his injury - the rest of his season is very much in doubt.
For both players, the concern is that back problems can become chronic - as we've seen with Peja Stojakovic of the Hornets. Peja missed his eighth straight game on Wednesday with what the team continues to describe as a "sore back." As fantasy basketball players know, Stojakovic has had a sore back for the better part of this decade, him missing games really comes as no surprise at this point. Coach Byron Scott told reporters he's expecting Peja back "soon."
The prognosis for Allen Iverson is similar. AI revealed this week that he's still dealing with the back pain that has sidelined him since late February. He'll go through another battery of tests later this week before a timetable for his return is set. The best case scenario at this point would be a return to practice this weekend, and a return to game action a few days after that.
Two of Iverson's teammates are also on the mend. Rip Hamilton is dealing with a groin strain and has missed two games so far. The earliest date for his return is this Sunday, against Miami. Rasheed Wallace - currently rehabbing a calf injury - may also return for the Miami game.
Article first appeared on 3/20/09