This article is part of our NBA Injury Analysis series.
RotoWire's Jeff Stotts looks around the league at the injuries impacting fantasy basketball in Week 21.
The MVP frontrunner is currently sidelined by a knee injury suffered over the weekend. The exact diagnosis from the team is a "minor joint capsule sprain." He is slated to miss at least one more game with an extended absence a possibility.
The joint capsule of the knee is a multilayered covering that surrounds the knee joint. It includes the kneecap, menisci, bursa sacs, and the multiple stabilizing ligaments of the knee. The joint capsule is involved in active and passive stabilization of the joint while playing an important role in motion. The capsule is divided into two layers, the outer fibrous layer compromised of connective tissue and the synovial membrane, a layer filled with a viscous fluid known as synovium.
The majority of capsule injuries involve the lateral or outer portion of the knee. This area is particularly complex and includes the iliotibial tract (IT band), lateral meniscus, as well as multiple tendons and ligaments. One of these tendons belongs to the popliteus, a muscle active in unlocking the knee and rotating the lower leg. Unfortunately, by allowing the popliteus tendon to runs through this area, the lateral capsule sacrifices a bit of its integrity and can be susceptible to injury. Multiple NBA players, including Rudy Gay, Jerryd Bayless, and Shaquille O'Neal, have suffered injuries to this area.
Isolated capsule injuries are relatively uncommon. Most noted cases in the