With the amount of severe injuries that have occurred in the first half of the 2013-14 season, it's not surprising that there was plenty of competition for the third annual NBA All-Scar team. The final rosters include two former MVPs, two Defensive Players of the Year, a former Most Improved Player recipient, and nine All-Stars.
WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-SCAR TEAM
Kobe Bryant: Fantasy owners were prepared for Bryant to miss time recovering from the torn Achilles that ended his 2012-13 season. What they weren't ready for was the broken tibia that has kept him sidelined for 25 games and counting. Bryant maintains he will return at some point this season, but his fantasy stock is the lowest it's been during his illustrious career.
Russell Westbrook: The early returns on Westbrook were high as fantasy owners that gambled on a quick recovery were rewarded with a brief two game absence to start the year. However, his troublesome right knee remained inflamed and required a third surgery that has caused him to miss OKC's last 25 outings.
Ryan Anderson: The season started off poorly for Anderson after he suffered a chip fracture in his second toe. He missed nine games before returning to the New Orleans lineup. Andersen was playing well until colliding with Boston's Gerald Wallace, suffering a cervical stinger and herniated disc in his neck. He has not played since January 3 and remains out indefinitely. Surgery remains a possibility.
Danilo Gallinari: The Italian forward suffered a meniscus and ACL injury to his left knee late last season. The meniscus was surgically repaired, but the ACL was not reconstructed. Unfortunately, the conservative approach did not pan out, and Gallinari underwent ACL surgery on January 21. He is out for the remainder of the season.
Marc Gasol: The Memphis center suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and was sidelined for 23 games. His return has bolstered the Grizzlies' defense, but he still appears hesitant on the knee and has not collected double-digit rebounds since returning to the court.
Eric Bledsoe and Jrue Holiday: Both players were playing well after changing teams in the offseason but have had various injuries limit their availability. Bledsoe required surgery to remove a torn meniscus and remains out. Holiday continues to sit after suffering a stress fracture to his tibia.
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-SCAR TEAM
Derrick Rose: Rose is the only player to appear on all three All-Scar teams since their inception. His ACL injury affected two seasons, and a torn meniscus this year has him once again chained to the sidelines. He's elevated his workload recently, but he is likely done for the season.
Deron Williams: Williams has missed 16 games this season dealing with bilateral ankle issues. He's needed PRP and cortisone injections in his left ankle for the second straight season, and his absence prevented the Brooklyn offense from establishing an identity and rhythm for the first quarter of the season.
Al Horford: For the second time in three years, Horford had his season interrupted by a torn pectoral muscle. He missed 58 total games during the lockout shortened season after tearing his left pec. This season ended after 29 games when he tore the opposite pec and needed surgery to repair the injury.
Brook Lopez: Like Horford, Lopez' injury is all too familiar for fantasy owners. After offseason surgery to repair bent hardware in his surgically repaired foot, Lopez one again fractured his fifth metatarsal and is lost for the season. He underwent a first metatarsal osteotomy in hopes of putting his foot problems behind him.
Larry Sanders: After putting forth a surprising 2012-13 campaign, Sanders was viewed as one of the top fantasy options at center. Sadly, a thumb injury sustained in a bar fight required surgery and forced him out of 25 straight games. He has missed two additional games with an illness.
Tyson Chandler and Dwyane Wade: Chandler's inclusion on the team stems from an isolated injury and a nagging illness. The New York center suffered a fractured fibula that cost him 20 games and then missed four more games with an upper respiratory infection. Wade's place on the team is due to his chronically ailing knees. He underwent shockwave treatment in both knees during the offseason, but has sat out 11 games resting the joints. He missed an additional two games with an illness.
Ty Lawson: The Denver point guard suffered a rib fracture in the team's loss to Detroit on Saturday. The team originally called the injury a back strain, suggesting the injury is to the lower portion of the rib cage. Rib fractures can be very painful and are often slow to heal. Games missed are often compounded by the additional rehab needed to recover the conditioning lost while resting the ailment. He isn't expected to play Monday against the Pacers and should be benched in weekly formats.
Steve Nash: The two-time MVP limped off the court after aggravating the nerve issue that kept him sidelined for a majority of the 2012-13 season. Nash broke his fibula in his second game as a Laker and would miss the next 24 games recovering from the break and associated nerve damage. In Sunday's outing, Nash was struck in the same area and was forced to leave the team's loss to the Bulls. After the game Nash told reporters he didn't think his latest setback would be a long-term issue, but he should be considered questionable for Los Angeles' two games before the All-Star break.
Kevin Martin: The Wolves' run of good fortune with injuries has skidded to a halt in the last two weeks. First, center Nikola Pekovic was diagnosed with Achilles bursitis and has missed the team's last seven outings with a return following the All-Star break likely. Now, Martin has been ruled out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Fortunately, the break occurred to the distal end of the digit and will not require surgery. The thumb is made up of three bones, the proximal and distal phalanxes and the first metacarpal. Injuries to the proximal phalanx or metacarpal bones can be very serious and often require surgery to repair the associated damage. As previously stated, Martin fractured the distal phalanx and no involved ligament damage has been reported. Detroit's Rodney Stuckey suffered a similar injury during the preseason but, unlike Martin, did require surgery. Stuckey was able to return to action three weeks later, suggesting a quicker return for Martin is possible. Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved should see an increase in responsibilities with Shved expected to join the starting lineup.