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In Street Clothes...

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.

In Street Clothes...

Allen Iverson

The newest Memphis Grizzly will miss an extended period of time as he battles a hamstring injury. The hamstring is actually a group of muscles, the semitendinosus, semimembranous, and biceps femoris. These muscles work together and are responsible for bending the knee (knee flexion) and extending the thigh (hip extension).

The hamstring is the most commonly strained muscle group in the thigh and injuries can occur in varying degrees. Iverson suffered a Grade II sprain which occurs when there is a partial tear in the muscle. An MRI confirmed the tear and Iverson will miss the remainder of preseason and his availability for the start of the regular season is in question.

A hamstring strain can be particularly limiting for a player like Iverson who relies on his speed and ability to stop and start quickly to be effective. Even when the muscle has healed the chances of aggravating the injury site remain high. Once a solid fantasy contributor, a rocky 2008-2009 season and a crowded back court in Memphis has diminished Iverson's fantasy value. Unfortunately this injury only makes things worse and the Answer remains a risky selection.

LeBron James

Even the NBA's reigning MVP isn't immune to everyday viruses. James and two Cleveland teammates recently tested positive for Influenza A. It has not been confirmed if these particular cases are the H1N1 virus, better known as swine flu, but the Cavaliers and their training staff are treating them as if they do. Symptoms associated with this virus include body aches, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea.

Like the seasonal flu, H1N1 is contagious and often spread with person to person contact or coughing and sneezing. The Cavaliers as well as the rest of the NBA are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the disease but expect other cases to pop up through out the league. While James was forced to stay in bed for several days he has returned to practice and should be good to go for the Cavs' season opener against the Celtics.

Antawn Jamison

Jamison will miss the remainder of the preseason after he suffered a right shoulder subluxation in a preseason game against Cleveland. A subluxation differs from a complete dislocation. A shoulder subluxation is classified as a partial dislocation and occurs when the head of the humerus (the upper arm bone) temporarily slips out of its normal position within the glenohumeral joint. While the ligaments of the shoulder can be overstretched and sprained when this occurs there is not a complete disruption of the joint like there is with a true dislocation. Jamison will receive treatment to control the inflammation within the shoulder and should begin rehabilitative exercises when the pain and inflammation subsides. The former All Star will likely return wearing a brace or wrap that will provide additional stability to the joint to prevent a reoccurrence.

Josh Howard

Howard returned to practice this week for the first time since offseason surgery. The swingman underwent arthroscopic surgery to clear up bony debris in his left ankle. Debris can develop within the joint when an ankle is repeatedly sprained or injured causing damage to the joint surface. The Mavericks hope that the surgery will address the chronic issues that have plagued the former All-Star and forced him to miss 22 games last season as well as several playoff games. It should be also noted that Howard underwent another arthroscopic procedure on his left wrist. Both surgeries were carried out at the same time and the ankle surgery seems to be more of a concern than the wrist. However, Howard has yet to play in the preseason and is being kept on a short leash by Coach Rick Carlisle and the training staff. Dallas has yet to set a definitive timetable for Howard but hope he will be ready for the start of the season.

Shawn Marion

Howard isn't the only athlete in Dallas battling injury; the newest Maverick, Shawn Marion, is dealing with a strained calf. The calf is actually two muscles known as the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The muscles come together in a common tendon known to most as the Achilles tendon. These muscles are primarily responsible for pointing the foot (plantar flexion) but are also involved in leg flexion. The calf plays a key component in accelerating and jumping and when strained can be very restraining for a player like Marion that thrives on collecting quick rebounds and dunks. The injury isn't considered serious but the Mavs have already shut their big offseason acquisition down for the next week to insure Marion will be ready for the season opener against Washington. Marion has impressed averaging 20.5 points in his two preseason games and looks comfortable alongside Dirk Nowitzki. While he is no longer a first-round fantasy pick the Matrix should still put up decent numbers across the board and remains a solid pick in roto leagues.

Article first appeared on 10/16/09