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NBA Injury Analysis: More injury trouble for Chandler, Lopez

Tyson Chandler
The Knicks center is battling multiple injuries that have not only limited his productivity but also forced him to the sidelines on Wednesday. Chandler has been dealing with multiple wrist and hand injuries for several weeks but a strained hamstring cost him the game against the Spurs. The hamstring injury occurred during practice but Chandler gutted it out and played 26 minutes against his former team in Dallas on Tuesday. The injury could be very problematic for a dynamic, active center like Chandler. The hamstring plays a key role in explosive jumping and would limit his ability to protect the rim. It sounds like Chandler doesn't expect to play Friday in Milwaukee and has made it clear he will be patient with the injury and let it fully heal before he returns.

The time off will allow Chandler to rest his ailing wrist but don't expect that injury to be at 100 percent any time soon. Doctors have told Chandler his sprained and bruised wrist will need at least six weeks to heal. Chandler will continue to play through any pain and discomfort associated with the joint, bracing the area with tape and additional padding. Unfortunately the extra bracing affects his ability to cleanly catch a pass and finish around the rim. Fantasy owners that have enjoyed Chandler's league-leading field goal percent of 68.7 should prepare for that number to take a slight hit for the remainder of the season.

Brook Lopez
After posting a career-best 38-point effort against Dallas and scoring 28 against the Celtics, Lopez again surrendered to injury, spraining his right ankle. The right ankle is a major cause for concern for Lopez since it is the same foot that required surgery earlier in the season and cost him the first 32 games of the year. His initial surgery was for a fractured fifth metatarsal, a bone in the foot that plays an important role in ankle stability. The fifth metatarsal sits on the outside of the foot and serves as an attachment site for muscles that help stabilize the ankle. It's susceptible to fractures when the ankle is forced inward, like when the ankle is sprained. Basically a sprain like the one Lopez suffered could negatively affect his previous injury, potentially leading to another surgery. A similar situation occurred with Lopez's teammate Damion James and Dallas' Rodrigue Beaubois needed a second surgery after turning his ankle, months after surgery to repair a broken metatarsal.

The Nets have ruled Lopez out for three weeks and given no indication that the current injury is related to or aggravated his previous one. However keep a close eye on his progression through his treatment and rehabilitation to see if Lopez suffers any setbacks.

TJ Ford
Ford suffered a stinger following a collision with Roy Hibbert on Wednesday and is a question mark for San Antonio's game against the Clippers on Friday. A stinger is traction injury to a bundle of nerves known as the brachial plexus. The nerves run down from the neck and into the shoulder and arm. If overstretched the athlete can experience pain and a burning sensation as well as loss of muscle strength and function. It's very common in football but will occasionally occur in basketball.

While Ford appears to have avoided serious damage, keep in mind he has a spinal condition known as spinal stenosis, in which his spinal column narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord. Any head or neck injury for Ford can be scary and the team will be overcautious with him moving forward. Look for Ford to miss a few games leaving the Spurs extremely taxed at the point guard position. Tony Parker, the only true point guard on the roster, will continue to start with Gary Neal likely to see more minutes as his backup.

Fast Breaks

Blake Griffin: A violent collision with Kris Humphries left the Clippers high-flyer bruised and battered. Griffin suffered a sprained left ankle and sore left knee on the play but remains confident he will play against San Antonio on Friday. Unfortunately for a player like Griffin whose success comes from his ability to leap and attack the rim, even the slightest lower extremity injuries can prove to be especially restrictive.

Kyle Lowry: Lowry has been hospitalized for an unknown illness and is doubtful for Saturday's game against the Nets. Lowry exhibited a fever and abdominal distress but all initial testing came back negative. It sounds like Lowry could miss a few games so consider looking elsewhere for the immediate future.

Zach Randolph: Randolph is back at practice and participated in a full-contact scrimmage wearing a brace on his injured right knee. Out since early January with a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), Randolph is currently targeting a Tuesday return when his teammates return from a three-game road trip. His timing and conditioning will need to improve but that will come with live basketball reps. Expect Memphis to gradually increase his minutes to allow him to adjust.

Richard Hamilton: Rip's return from a groin injury lasted four games and a minute of a fifth before an injured shoulder has sent him back to the sidelines. The injury has been diagnosed as a contusion and sprain. Hamilton was in a sling and admitted his range of motion is limited. With CJ Watson nursing a significant ankle sprain, Ronnie Brewer joined the starting lineup in Thursday's loss to the Magic. Brewer managed just 18 minutes as Kyle Korver was given 29 minutes off the bench.

Brendan Haywood: The Mavs starting center was playing some of his best basketball of the season before spraining his ankle in the opening minute of a loss to the Thunder. Haywood described the situation as not "massively serious". While it's not the best medical terminology, the quote is very descriptive and a good indicator he shouldn't miss much time. Ian Mahinmi has performed well in his absence and may have reestablished himself in coach Rick Carlisle's rotation.

Nikola Pekovic: The Timberwolves center still had swelling in his injured ankle joint on Wednesday but practiced Thursday and hopes to play Friday against the Lakers. The second-year player has missed two straight games after suffering a sprained ankle.

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

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