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NBA Injury Analysis: D-Wade's New Shades

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.

If you watched the Heat take on the Knicks on Thursday you may have noticed Miami's Dwyane Wade sporting a pair of goggles. No they aren't the latest fashion accessory from South Beach, they are a specially designed pair of eyewear that helps Wade deal with the chronic migraines that knocked him out of a recent game against the Raptors.

Migraine headaches are an unpredictable and serious issue for any individual but can be particularly troublesome for athletes. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has missed several games throughout his career with the condition and like Harvin, Wade has been battling the headaches since an early age. Migraines are classified by significant head pain that is often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light, and potentially vomiting and loss of consciousness. The symptoms can last for hours or days and vary in severity. Unfortunately the exact trigger of the problem remains unknown but multiple factors including stress, physical exertion, and weather changes are believed to contribute to a migraine.

Wade's recent migraine has left him particularly sensitive to light, a big problem for a superstar who plays on a court covered by massive spotlights, not to mention that various strobes and flashes associated with each arena's in-game entertainment and the multitude of cameramen following Wade and his Heat teammates. To battle the effects of the light and any lingering side effects, Wade is taking medication and wearing the tinted goggles. The medication will help treat the associated symptoms and help reduce the regularity and severity of the headaches while the goggles will minimize the likelihood of another migraine being triggered.

Unfortunately a cure for migraines remains unknown and the threat of another episode will surround Wade for the remainder of the season. Fantasy owners invested in Wade should continues to start the former Finals MVP but understand he may miss a game or two down the stretch. Also his numbers may fluctuate as he adjusts to wearing the goggles; though he passed his first test Thursday scoring 34 points in the loss.

Wade's teammate Chris Bosh remains sidelined by an ankle injury that is now being classified as a high ankle sprain. A high ankle sprain involves undue stretching and disruption of the ligaments located at the ankle mortise, formed by the junction of the lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula. Recovery from a high ankle sprain takes longer than a more common lateral ankle sprain. However there is a sliver of good news. The swelling in Bosh's ankle appears minimal which should allow him to recover faster and Miami expects their big man to miss just three more games. He hopes to be with the team when the Heat travels to take on their in-state rivals, the Orlando Magic, on February 3.

Chicago point guard Derrick Rose has found the one thing that can slow him down: stomach ulcers. Rose was taken to a local hospital after experiencing heartburn and having problems eating. Once there, medical professionals located two stomach ulcers that were causing the problems. Stomach ulcers are a common occurrence and affect millions of Americans yearly. A stomach or peptic ulcer is a small hole in the lining of the stomach caused by the normal digestive acids in the stomach. While Rose attributes the ulcers to the spicy food he regularly eats, bacterial infection or habitual medication use (like aspirin or ibuprofen) are usually the main culprits behind peptic ulcers. Other factors like smoking and stress may also attribute to the problem.

The Bulls medical staff will provide Rose with the necessary antibiotics or acid-reducing medications and hope to have him on the court for Friday's game against the Magic. If Rose does suit up, scale back your expectations. The episode has left Rose low on energy as he has been unable to properly eat and the lack of nutrients may affect his game.

The Clippers will be without Eric Gordon for three-to-four weeks after it was discovered he suffered a sprained right wrist and bone chip fracture in last week's win over Golden State. While Blake Griffin has been getting the headlines and highlights, it is Gordon who was leading the team in scoring with 24.1 points per game. The wrist is a complex joint made up of many tiny bones and abundant amount of ligaments. Wrist sprains are common but because of the complexity of the joint, they are often mismanaged. Injuries to the area often result in a decrease in range of motion and strength and are often very slow to heal.

Gordon is slated to return around the All-Star break but don't expect him to produce immediately. A wrist injury to a player's shooting hand often affects their shooting mechanics and hinders their ability to completely follow through. 70 percent of Gordon's field goal attempts come on jump shots and a limited wrist would directly effect his production and efficiency. Randy Foye has joined the starting lineup and averaged 17.5 points in two outings. He is worth picking up in deeper leagues until Gordon returns.

Deron Williams owners should keep the previous information in mind as the Jazz point guard is slated to undergo a MRI for a wrist injury of his own. Williams took a tumble against the Spurs and admitted to hearing a "pop" on the play. The injury is being called a hyper-extended wrist for now but expect more details following the MRI. The struggling Jazz can ill afford to lose their leader after dropping six straight games but it seems probable that D-Will could miss at least one game.

The Trail Blazers should get a discounted team rate on MRIs as Nicolas Batum becomes the latest Portland player to require the imaging technique. Batum left Thursday's game against Boston with a knee injury, the extent of which remains unknown. The swingman feels the injury won't force him from action but Portland hasn't had the best of luck with injuries over the last few years. The MRI is scheduled for Friday and should provide a better understanding of what is going on. If Batum does miss time, Rudy Fernandez will see a significant bump in minutes.

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