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NBA Injury Analysis: In Street Clothes...

Charlie Zegers

Charlie has covered the NBA, NFL and MLB for RotoWire for the better part of 15 years. His work has also appeared on,, the New York Times, ESPN, Fox Sports and Yahoo. He embraces his East Coast bias and is Smush Parker's last remaining fan.

In Street Clothes...
by Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Hoops Editor

Leandro Barbosa

Phoenix guard Leandro Barbosa will miss approximately three weeks with what is being described as a "bone contusion" to his left knee.

Many doctors will describe bone contusions - also called "bone bruises" as very subtle fractures. Though there's no actual break, the bone and surrounding tissue reacts the same way.

Depending on the severity of the injury, contusions can take even longer than fractures to heal fully, but based on the team's estimate of three weeks, it sounds like Barbosa's is fairly minor. Assuming no setbacks, he should be able to play in the post season - assuming the Suns make it that far.

Ray Allen

Allen hyperextended his right elbow during Tuesday's loss to the Bulls. A hyperextension is the same as a sprain - "hyperextension" refers to the mechanism of the injury - bending the joint in a direction that it isn't intended to go, usually due to a hard fall.

It seems safe to assume that this is a mild sprain - Allen is travelling with the team on their current road trip. That said, the Celtics have an enormous lead in the Atlantic Division, and will most likely play it safe and give their all-star the time to heal fully.

Marquis Daniels

Daniels has emerged as a very productive player in Jim O'Brien's system, especially as Mike Dunleavy battled injuries all year. But Daniels is hurting too; his right wrist is so sore that, according to a number of reports, he was obviously favoring it and trying to avoid dribbling with his right hand during Wednesday's loss to the Trailblazers.

Obviously, he won't be terribly effective playing with one hand.

With hopes of a playoff berth fading, the Pacers' best course of action may be to shut Daniels down for a little while to see if the injury responds to rest. Pacer coach Jim O'Brien has been resistant to the idea of going with a "youth movement" - but in this case, he may not have a choice. Rookie Brandon Rush is the likely replacement if Daniels is sidelined.

Andris Biedrins

Biedrins suffered an injury that should be familiar to any basketball fan - the dreaded sprained ankle - in Friday's win over Dallas. It sounds like a fairly severe sprain - the Warriors announced that he won't be re-evaluated for at least two weeks. With under a month left in the season and the Warriors well out of playoff contention, it wouldn't surprise if they decide to shut him down for the year.


Atlanta's Marvin Williams - dealing with lower-back pain -- has opted against surgery; he'll try to get better with rest, treatment and therapy. There's a decent chance he's simply postponing the inevitable - if the conservative approach doesn't alleviate his pain, he could be looking at surgery down the road.

Knick rookie Danilo Gallinari was in a similar situation with his back trouble. An injury suffered last summer continues to plague the rookie, and though he did manage to get into some games for New York and play fairly well, he reportedly needed hours of stretching and therapy just to get loose enough to play on game days. Gallinari returned to Italy this week for another opinion on his injury - the rest of his season is very much in doubt.

For both players, the concern is that back problems can become chronic - as we've seen with Peja Stojakovic of the Hornets. Peja missed his eighth straight game on Wednesday with what the team continues to describe as a "sore back." As fantasy basketball players know, Stojakovic has had a sore back for the better part of this decade, him missing games really comes as no surprise at this point. Coach Byron Scott told reporters he's expecting Peja back "soon."

The prognosis for Allen Iverson is similar. AI revealed this week that he's still dealing with the back pain that has sidelined him since late February. He'll go through another battery of tests later this week before a timetable for his return is set. The best case scenario at this point would be a return to practice this weekend, and a return to game action a few days after that.

Two of Iverson's teammates are also on the mend. Rip Hamilton is dealing with a groin strain and has missed two games so far. The earliest date for his return is this Sunday, against Miami. Rasheed Wallace - currently rehabbing a calf injury - may also return for the Miami game.

Article first appeared on 3/20/09