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NBA Injury Analysis: Another Setback for Bogut

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.

Andrew Bogut
After suffering numerous injuries in recent seasons including a gruesome elbow dislocation, the Bucks will once again be without their Australian big man after a MRI taken on Bogut's injured left ankle revealed a break. The injury occurred Wednesday when he awkwardly stepped on the foot of Houston's Kyle Lowry. The team has ruled him out indefinitely and will evaluate all options moving forward. Surgery has yet to be mentioned but would seem like a possible option, particularly if the fracture shows any signs of instability.

Fantasy owners unable to stash Bogut should take serious consideration into dropping him. A six-week absence would be the earliest he could return, assuming the break is small and stable. However given Bogut's size it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit for the remainder of the season. Ankle and foot fractures can be career-killers if improperly treated, especially for bigs. The most infamous ankle fracture occurred to Yao Ming, which ultimately forced his early retirement. Drew Gooden will replace Bogut in the lineup, instantly making him a must-add in all formats. Though a bit undersized for the center position, Gooden has shown a knack for getting rebounds and has proven he's capable of filling the spot. Gooden is averaging 15.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in his five starts this season.

Luol Deng
The Bulls were preparing to play without Deng after coach Tom Thibodeau revealed his forward would be out for an extended period with a left wrist injury. However Deng has elected to forego surgery and will attempt to play through the pain associated with a torn ligament. He is reportedly making progress in practice and is hoping to be back in the lineup for Sunday's matchup against the Heat. Deng does have some familiarity with this type of injury that could be advantageous in his return. In his rookie season he suffered the same injury in his opposite wrist, playing in just 61 games before electing to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

However fantasy owners should anticipate a drop in production. The wrist will likely limit his shooting mechanics and could affect his aggressiveness on the defensive side of the court. Deng, currently third in the NBA in minutes per game, should receive additional rest as the wrist continues to heal. Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver will be leaned on more heavily.

Still it remains a possibility that Deng would be unable to play through the injury and need to be shutdown for a significant stretch. Furthermore the injury will be vulnerable to aggravation, making him a risky play moving forward. In the meantime, keep Deng in your lineups but definitely scale back your expectations and consider adding Brewer or Korver as insurance.

Andrea Bargnani
Bargnani's return to the lineup in Toronto was brief after the Italian forward aggravated his left calf strain. The calf muscle is a muscle group consisting of two muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus. The calf's primarily responsible is plantar flexing the foot (pointing your toes) at the ankle joint, making it critical in running and jumping. However people fail to realize that the calf also crosses the knee and aids the hamstrings in bending the leg (knee flexion). Strains to the area can be very painful and limiting and if improperly treated can cause a cascade injury to other muscle groups. For example, a weakened calf will force the hamstrings to become overworked, making that muscle ground susceptible to strains.

A MRI was performed Thursday and no considerable damage was revealed. However the Raptors have not set a timetable for his return, labeling him out indefinitely.

Marcus Thornton
A significant thigh bruise will sideline the Sacramento guard for one to two weeks.
Located on the anterior aspect of the thigh sits the quadriceps muscle group. It is responsible for straightening the leg (knee extension) and raising the thigh (hip flexion). Its location makes it vulnerable to impact from stray knees and elbows, leading to contusions. Thigh "bruises" are graded medically based on the amount of damage and resulting limitation. A mild or Grade 1 contusion is considered superficial with little to no swelling and no muscle limitations while Grade 4 contusions are considered severe and are often accompanied by muscle herniation.

A diagnostic ultrasound revealed an intramuscular hematoma in Thornton's thigh meaning his contusion is a high-grade contusion. The Kings medical staff will now take the next few weeks conservatively treating the area, focusing on range of motion. Rehabilitation will be ramped up once the pain diminishes and the hematoma dissipates.

Rookie Jimmer Fredette has stepped up his game in the absence of Thornton, scoring 19 points, including five made three-pointers, in his first NBA start. "The Jimmer" is now averaging 17.3 points and 3.7 made threes in his last three games.

Fast Breaks

Carmelo Anthony: Nagging injuries will sideline Anthony for New York's next two outings. Anthony, mired in a shooting slump, will utilize the time to rest an ailing wrist, thumb, and ankle.

Eric Gordon: Gordon's return to the court has been delayed and the New Orleans guard will miss at least three more weeks. Fantasy owners shouldn't be shocked by this setback. When the knee contusion initially occurred, I warned of the problems caused by an injury of this magnitude. Knee contusions take a considerable amount of time to heal and it sounds like Gordon is stuck in the middle of this tedious process.

Al Jefferson: Jefferson is day-to-day after a MRI revealed tendinitis in his bothersome ankle. Derrick Favors replaced the Utah center in the starting lineup.

Dirk Nowitzki: Nowitzki's one-week hiatus to strength his knee appears to be working and the Mavericks are hopeful he will be back in the lineup for Sunday's meeting with the rival Spurs. Dirk has missed three games and will miss at least one more as he improves the area surrounding a troublesome knee.

Ty Lawson: A sprained ankle will likely sideline Lawson for Friday's game against the Raptors. Veteran Andre Miller will join the starting lineup.

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