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NBA Injury Analysis: In Street Clothes...

In Street Clothes...
Jeff Stotts, ATC, MAT, LAT, PES
RotoWire Injury Expert

David West, Tyson Chandler, and Hilton Armstrong

In a recent TV interview, a desperate Chris Paul pleaded to fans for big man help after the New Orleans Hornets' frontcourt has suddenly been decimated with injuries.

David West has been sidelined with back spasms after tweaking his lower back as he got out of his car. In the back you have both superficial and deep muscles that extend up and down the entire vertebral column. When these muscles are injured they become swollen and inflamed causing spontaneous and painful muscle contractions. The spasms will continue as long as the muscle is irritated making a definitive time frame for returning to the court difficult to estimate. West has already missed two games and been ruled out against the Timberwolves but hopes to be available at the beginning of next week.

West's starting frontcourt partner, Tyson Chandler, sprained his left ankle after landing on the foot of Indiana guard TJ Ford in the Hornets MLK Day win over the Pacers. X-rays of the foot came back negative for a fracture, but the Hornets have ruled Chandler out indefinitely. While the recovery time frame for ankle injuries often varies, this particular injury can be especially limiting to an athlete as explosive as Chandler. Until he can run and jump without pain don't expect Chandler to be on the receiving end of a Chris Paul alley-oop anytime soon.

With both starters shelved, the Hornets had hoped reserve Hilton Armstrong would be able to fill in. However Armstrong is battling a case of knee tendonitis and was unavailable against New Jersey. Tendonitis occurs when tendons become inflamed resulting in pain and tenderness. The primary muscles utilized in jumping are the group of muscles known as the quadriceps. Unfortunately for athletes the tendon of the muscles connects at a small bony landmark known as the tibial tuberosity leaving this area susceptible to high levels of tension resulting in irritation and inflammation. The Hornets are optimistic Armstrong will be back sooner than later but reports indicate Armstrong was not moving well during New Orleans' most recent practice session.

Andrei Kirilenko

Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko sore right ankle continues to be an issue but Kirilenko is hopeful he can return at some point this weekend. The ankle has developed some constant inflammation which was treated with a cortisone shot. Cortisone is a corticosteroid that is often utilized to help regulate inflammation. The Jazz remain hopeful that the swelling and irritation will have improved enough for Kirilenko to return to action quickly.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The left ankle of Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has improved enough that the seven-footer is out of his walking boot and should begin rehabilitation soon. After spraining his ankle in a December 10 matchup with the Sixers, an MRI revealed a small chip in the talus bone. With his history of foot injuries, Ilgauskas visited the same doctor, Dr. Mark Myerson, who reconstructed this same foot several seasons ago. Dr. Myerson examined the MRI images and has green-lighted the rehab process. Once Ilgauskas begins the rehabilitation expect it to be a week or two before he is cleared to return to the court.

Andris Biedrins

Golden State Warriors' center Andris Biedrins missed his first game of the season with a sprained left wrist. Biedrins was seen wearing a brace on the bench as he watched his team fall to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Earlier in the day the wrist was so painful the Lithuanian had trouble catching and passing a basketball. A sprain is the most common injury in the wrist but can very painful and troublesome. Ligaments on the front and back of the wrist are the primary stabilizers for the wrist and are easily overstretched and injured resulting in swelling and tenderness at the joint. The problem with wrist is that the ligaments are easily aggravated, especially in basketball, and can become a chronic issue. While Biedrins is set to return, hope the injury does not bother him for the rest of the season.

Marvin Williams

The Atlanta Hawks hope to see Marvin Williams back on the court soon, after the 6-9 forward suffered a concussion in a game earlier this week against Golden State. Williams sustained the concussion after his head bounced off the hardwood floor following a hard foul by Warriors' center Ronny Turiaf. Williams spent the night in an area hospital for observation before being released the next morning. A concussion occurs when neurological function, such as vision, memory, and consciousness, is temporarily impaired. Other symptoms include headaches, sensitivity to light, and neck pain. An athlete will not be cleared to return to activity until all these functions return to normal and all the symptoms have stopped. The difficult thing about concussions is that every athlete reacts differently making it impossible to determine how long they will be affected. Expect Williams to return within the next week as his concussion symptoms diminish.

Article first appeared on 1/23/08