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NBA Injury Analysis: In Street Clothes...

In Street Clothes...
by Jim Russo
RotoWire Injury Expert

Josh Howard

Why not start this week with a couple names we are certainly used to talking about? First we have Mavs enigma Josh Howard, who finally contributed some really effective minutes earlier this week only to go down again, this time with a sprained wrist. He hurt it falling backwards after taking a charge and aggravated what apparently has been a problem for quite some time. You have to hope that was addressed to some degree while he was out with the ankle issue but that mechanism, falling backwards on an outstretched hand, has forced many players into the Training Room before, regardless of whether it was there to begin with or not. For now, Howard is on hold again, nothing we haven't seen before.

Tyson Chandler

Another update on Tyson Chandler? OK. His problematic left ankle finally forced team doctors to recommend putting him in a cast for about a week to see if the inflammation would calm down. That week, which ended with the cast being removed April 2nd, preceded another week where Chandler will be in a walking boot to take even more strain off that painful area. So the best case scenario at this time will see him playing again by this time next weekend, and hopefully making a run for the last couple games of the regular season and into the NBA Playoffs. The off season will be occupied with quite a few doctor visits for both of these players so stay tuned even after they have played their last games.

The Miami Heat

Another question is whether or not Miami will put things on cruise control now that they've secured a playoff berth for the first time in a couple years? They definitely have a few players who could use the rest. Forwards Michael Beasley and Jermaine O'Neal both were removed from the clincher Friday night with sprained ankles, but were able to return to the floor at the end, always a good sign. How much they will play the last couple weeks is anyone's guess though. Udonis Haslem was also lost during that game with a laceration on his right thumb. He is undoubtedly out for Saturday's game and could miss the remainder of the regular season.

More updates:

John Salmons missed significant time from the Bulls game last Sunday, and sat out Tuesday due to a sore groin. He hopes to play this weekend but may still be limited by the injury. I wouldn't shy away from him at this point though as it is something he's dealt with for a while.

Corey Maggette on the other hand may have seen his last minutes this season. Post concussion syndrome is never something that should be overlooked. We usually only hear about this in football and hockey, but it can affect athletes long term in any sport. He still has more tests coming, probably measures of cognitive thinking, reaction time, etc, also known as neuropsychological testing to see if the affects of the concussion are still present with every day tasks. And we know the Warriors have nothing to play for at this point so why bother risking it?

Randy Foye is dealing with a hip injury that has been there at least a month. It's a little unclear what the situation is all about. It could be a muscle strain, tendonitis, or even a deeper, more significant injury like a cartilage tear or fragment but we will have to wait and see. I wouldn't expect a whole lot from Foye for the next two weeks.

Kevin Garnett is still on the shelf in Boston and who can blame them? It may be too late for Garnett to have an impact on your fantasy league's finish but you can be sure he'll at least be out there for the Celtics in the playoffs. Who knows how the layoff will affect his game at this point, but he's a player that can get by on defense and toughness alone when the offense isn't working. It may be worth watching during the off-season though.

Finally one player who is definitely out for the rest of the season is Allen Iverson. And you can bet that whatever the reason, be it his back or his clear displeasure with the role he's been left with, no one in Detroit is crying over him now. And next year, AI probably has a better chance of going back to Georgetown to play for the Hoyas rather than another season with the Pistons.

Jim Russo is a certified athletic trainer with a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology.
Article first appeared on 4/6/09