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NBA Injury Analysis: Another FOOSH has Rondo Hurting

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Rajon Rondo

The Celtic point guard made an early departure from Wednesday's win over the Raptors with a wrist injury. He fell to the ground following a flagrant foul by Toronto's Linas Kleiza. He attempted to brace his fall with his hand, injuring his right wrist. Rondo's injury is the perfect example of an improper fall. When a person is tripped or knocked over, the natural instinct is to try to catch themselves with an outstretched hand. This particular mechanism of injury is so common it has its own medical abbreviation, FOOSH (fall on outstretched hand). Unfortunately this locks the elbow joint and creates a rigid chain, unable to dissipate the forces generated with the fall. Wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries can all occur following the impact.

Imagine trying to knock down a door by charging at it with a broomstick. The broomstick is going to break and splinter before the door ever comes down. In a FOOSH injury, your arm is the broomstick and the ground is the door. Instead of trying to brace one's fall, you should keep your arm bent and roll into the fall. Unfortunately this is extremely hard to do, particularly in the NBA where players play more in the air than on the ground.

For Rondo, this is the second injury in the last year he has sustained while trying to brace himself. In last year's playoffs he suffered a gruesome elbow dislocation as he tried to catch himself after getting tangled up with Miami's Dwyane Wade. His recent injury does not appear nearly as serious but could keep him out of Friday's contest against the Suns. A MRI taken late Thursday revealed nothing but a sprain so consider the point guard day-to-day moving forward. Avery Bradley would man the starting spot in Rondo's absence.

Dwyane Wade

Miami's Big Three is currently a Dynamic Duo as Wade remains sidelined with an ankle injury. He sprained his right ankle in a game against the Nuggets and has missed Miami's last two outings. Ankle sprains are common in the NBA but Wade's situation is complicated by the condition of his other foot. He missed three games earlier in the season with a left foot sprain, literally leaving him without a good leg to stand on.
When an injury occurs, particularly in the lower extremity, the entire limb is affected as muscles must compensate, placing unnatural stress of the other joints. For example, studies have shown that following an ankle sprain, individuals tend to display weakness in their hips. Furthermore the opposite limb tends to get overworked as it is favored and relied upon more heavily. Wade's significant right ankle sprain may have been attributed to his left foot sprain if the muscles and ligaments of his right leg were taxed and fatigued.

Now Wade is left with two bum wheels and fantasy owners are left with a major hole in their lineups. Still it would be in the best interest of both parties if Miami elects to show extreme patience with their All-Star guard. Providing Wade additional rest may sting now but will insure he's available down the stretch when he is needed most. The team has not publicly set a timeline for Wade's return but don't be surprised if he misses several more games. Owners of LeBron James and Chris Bosh will benefit from Wade's absence as the other two South Beach All-Stars assume more responsibilities on both ends of the court.

Dirk Nowitzki

Nowitzki's season has gotten off to a rocky start and his numbers are the lowest they've been in over a decade. He's failed to score over 20 points in eight of Dallas' last nine games while shooting 45 percent from the field, including 24 percent from three-point range. He recently admitted his right knee, the same knee he sprained last year, has been giving him problems. He's having issues flexing (bending) the knee, which can be problematic for a jumpshooter, particularly a 7-foot one. No true injury appears to be at work. Instead it's likely a mixture of fatigue and fallout from the compact NBA schedule. Nowitzki is a notorious creature of habit and the Mavericks' title run, a summer stint with the German national team, and the prolonged lockout has disrupted his normal routine. Now he's playing more games over a shorter stretch, making it more difficult to find his footing. He's attempting to play through the issue, hoping reps and game action will help get him back on track. Fantasy owners should downgrade Dirk's value for the immediate future as he attempts to rediscover his rhythm.

Fast Breaks

Vince Carter: No longer a major fantasy weapon, his remaining value took a sizeable hit when he limped off the court following a loss to the Lakers. X-rays were negative but the team sent him back to Dallas to visit with team physicians. They are calling the injury a foot sprain and have not set a timetable for a potential return. He has been ruled out for Saturday's matchup against the Hornets. Delonte West, Jason Terry, and Rodrigue Beaubois will split his minutes.

Spencer Hawes: One of the early fantasy surprises, Hawes is battling an Achilles injury that has already cost him one game and will keep him out of Friday's game against the Hawks. Achilles injuries are painful and can linger if improperly treated. Don't be surprised to see Hawes sit out Saturday's contest against Miami as the Sixers follow that contest up with five home games in eight days.

Jason Richardson: Richardson has missed Orlando's last three games with a knee bruise but is nearing a return. The Magic play the Lakers Friday and coach Stan Van Gundy anticipates his starting shooting guard will be back in the lineup.

Derrick Rose: Rose continues to be bothered by turf toe in his left big toe that has forced him to miss three of Chicago's last five games. The team continues to perform well, particularly CJ Watson, buying Rose some additional rest. With Cleveland and Charlotte on the schedule, don't be surprised if the reigning MVP remains out through the weekend.

Jeff Stotts is a Certified Athletic Trainer, MAT, PES and the Injury Analyst for Rotowire.com. You can follow him on twitter @RotoWireATC.