With a shortened week on the schedule, players will spend the next few days resting ailing bodies and receiving treatment on lingering injuries. The first half of the season has been littered with injuries to prominent NBA talent, making the second annual NBA All-Scar teams a truly talented bunch.
Western Conference All-Scar Team
The Lakers have been one of the biggest disappointments in the first half of the season and a big part of their problem has been health. The problems began in the second game of the season when Nash suffered a non-displaced fracture to his fibula that would sideline him for 24 games. The former MVP has struggled to establish a rhythm with his new teammates and you have to wonder if and when his chronic back problems will become an issue.
Gordon is our first two-time All-Scar member as his prolonged knee injury carried over into this season. His knee kept him out for the first 29 games of the year and he's missed another four resting the knee and a sore back. He's averaging 16.4 points on the season but shooting just 40 percent from the field.
It's not a coincidence that Nowitzki joins the All-Scar team in the same year in which he failed to make the All-Star team for the first time since 2002. Arthroscopic knee surgery prior to the start of the season kept Dirk out of Dallas' first 27 games followed by an adductor strain that forced him out of two additional games. The two injuries bring his total number of missed games to 29, matching his total for the previous eight seasons combined. He's back in the lineup but still looking to find his shot.
A fractured hand following knuckle pushups sidelined Love for the first nine games of the year. Surgery was avoided initially but the hand was reinjured in early January forcing the All-Star forward under the knife. He is currently progressing well in rehab but has vowed to be more patient this time around. Hopefully he will be back sometime in March but keep in mind his injured hand has had a negative effect on his shot as he is shooting an abysmal 35 percent from the field.
With a second Laker in the All-Scar starting five, it is easy to understand why Los Angeles has not come together as anticipated. Two chronic injuries, patellar tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, were an issue for Gasol to start the season hinting that his years of NBA and international basketball have begun to wear on the Spaniard. A concussion cost him another five games but it's his latest injury that allowed him to be a late addition to the Western squad. Gasol tore the plantar fascia in his right foot and will miss the next six to eight weeks. Chicago's Richard Hamilton missed three weeks earlier this year with a similar injury but big men have a tougher time overcoming this type of injury. I would anticipate a late-March return but don't be surprised if he needs the full eight weeks.
Andrew Bogut and Ricky Rubio
Bogut is the first player to represent both the East and the West on the All-Scar team after making the 2011-2012 Eastern squad with an ankle injury. The injured ankle was supposedly ready to start the season but Bogut appeared in just four of Golden State's first five games before taking a 38-game leave of absence to allow the ankle to completely recover. It was only then that it was revealed Bogut required microfracture surgery on the joint. He is back in the lineup but playing with several restrictions that should be lifted following the break.
Rubio missed time at the start of the year rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his left knee. He sat for Minnesota's first 20 games and has missed four more with back spasms.
Eastern Conference All-Scar Team
Rose has yet to play a game this season after tearing his left ACL during last season's playoffs. His recovery remains on schedule but it was interesting to hear he has yet to begin full-court scrimmaging. Adrian Peterson's remarkable comeback in the NFL has people salivating on what Rose will be able to do when he is cleared to play. However, Peterson is the exception not the rule and expectations for Rose should be scaled back. That being said he could a nice contributor down the stretch, after he clears away the rust from his game.
The Eastern Conference All-Scar team has two guards and only two healthy ACLs. Rondo will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a partially torn ACL. He is currently evaluating surgeons but hopes to undergo surgery in the near future. He has an outside chance to be ready for the start of the 2013-2014 season.
Granger is another member of the team who has yet to play a game this season. He has spent the first few months of the season rehabbing a case of patellar tendinosis in his left knee. Tendonsis differs from tendinitis and often occurs when a tendon has been damaged and not properly healed. It can be very painful and the tendon is often left weak and unable to properly perform its function. Fortunately Granger has returned to the practice court and could make a return as soon as Wednesday.
Stoudemire replaces teammate Carmelo Anthony on this year's All-Scar roster after a Baker's cyst ruptured in his often-injured left knee. He underwent a debridement procedure and spent the first 30 games recovering. He has returned in a diminished role but has been surprisingly productive despite not starting.
Philadelphia has to yet to see their offseason acquisition in uniform as bone bruises and cartilage issues in both knees have prevented Bynum from suiting up. He recently underwent his second round of lubricant injections and hopes to return by the end of the month. However I'm less than optimistic on how long Bynum will be available and effective.
Anderson Varejao and Louis Williams
Both Varejao and Williams are done for the season after sustaining significant injuries. Williams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee and underwent surgery February 7. Renowned orthopedist James Andrews performed the procedure and, like Rondo, has a chance at being ready for the start of next season.
Varejao's injury was much more serious as the forward developed a blood clot in his lungs following surgery to repair a torn quadriceps muscle. A second surgery removed the clot and he currently remains on blood thinning medication. He will be ready for the start of next year.
Jeff Stotts is a Certified Athletic Trainer, MAT, PES and the Injury Analyst for Rotowire.com. You can follow him on twitter @RotoWireATC.