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NBA Injury Analysis: Nets Lose Another Guard

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.

MarShon Brooks
An Achilles injury had been limiting the Nets rookie but another foot injury has him sidelined indefinitely. After participating in last Sunday's game against the Raptors, Brooks experienced swelling in his right pinkie toe. A subsequent x-ray revealed a fracture in the toe. While the pinkie toe may seem an insignificant digit, it plays a role in balance and walking, in addition to serving as the attachment site for several muscles of the foot.

The location of the break will be key. The recovery window could be smaller if the break is in the little phalange bones located at the end of the toe and not the fifth metatarsal. Remember Brooks' teammate Brook Lopez is currently out after needing surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal. The Nets plan on performing additional testing over the weekend and hope to establish a better timeframe for recovery.

Brooks' injury is the latest setback in the New Jersey backcourt. DeShawn Stevenson is battling chronic knee problems and after recently having his knee drained is expected to miss two weeks. Guard Anthony Morrow missed Wednesday's game against the Pistons with a sore ankle, forcing the team to sign veteran Keith Bogans. Bogans did start all 82 games for the Bulls last season but has limited fantasy value. Brooks owners should hold on to the surprising rookie through the weekend and hope to receive positive news.

George Hill
Another young guard has been shelved indefinitely after Hill suffered a chip fracture in his left ankle. A chip fracture does imply that the break is small and it seems likely that the fracture is what is called an avulsion fracture. Avulsion fractures occur when a tendon or ligament pulls off a tiny fragment away from the intact bone. While it's never a good thing when bone breaks, Hill owners shouldn't abandon ship just yet. Avulsion fractures are fairly common and a minor break would be treated just like a low-grade ankle sprain. The Pacers have ruled the speedster out for their game in Dallas on Friday and expect him to miss between two to three weeks. AJ Price will get the bulk of Hill's minutes but has done little to warrant a roster spot in fantasy leagues.

The Charlotte Bobcats Backcourt
The Bobcats are struggling to stay healthy as their top three scorers are all nursing injuries. Point guard DJ Augustin continues to be limited by sesamoiditis in his right big toe. Located on the bottom of the foot, near the ball of the foot, sit two tiny bones known as the sesmoid bones. These round bones float within the tendons of the muscles responsible for bending and spreading the big toe and help disperse forces in the foot while walking and running. Constant, repetitive motion can cause the area to become inflamed and painful. Padding can be added to the shoe to help but often rest if the best weapon against sesamoiditis. No timetable has been set for Augustin's return but don't be surprised is this continues to drag on.

Corey Maggette suffered a strained left hamstring nearly a month ago and isn't expected to return to practice until early next week. Teammate Gerald Henderson will now be able to provide Maggette with some company as he too suffered a hamstring strain and is expected to miss two to four weeks. If you can stash Henderson then he's worth keeping but if you need the space consider cutting him loose. As Maggette has proven, hamstring strains are very problematic for basketball players and can easily become a nagging issue.

In the meantime rookie Kemba Walker remains the best fantasy option in Charlotte while Matt Carroll has some value in deeper leagues. Carroll has averaged 15.0 points in his two starts this season and had his best NBA season during the 2006-2007 season when he started 47 games and averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.

Fast Breaks

Richard Hamilton: The Bulls will once again be without Hamilton as they have decided to sit him until his troublesome groin strain and thigh bruise are completely healed. He tried to fight through the pain in a loss to the Heat but was clearly limited. In the meantime, look for CJ Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer to see an increase in responsibilities.

Jason Kidd: The veteran point guard continues to miss time with a calf strain. The team initially ruled him out for a week but don't be surprised if coach Rick Carlisle gives Kidd some additional days off. Roddy Beaubois has played well in his absence and is worth a roster spot in most formats.

The rest of the Dallas Mavericks: With Kidd out, the Mavericks are hoping Brendan Haywood and Lamar Odom will be back in the lineup Friday for a home game against the Pacers. Haywood (lower back stiffness) and Odom (stomach ailment) both missed the team's loss to the Thunder. Shawn Marion hyperextended his knee in the game but isn't expected to miss any time.

Devin Harris: A strained hamstring forced Harris from Thursday's game against Golden State and will make him a game-time decision for Saturday's contest against the Lakers.

Nicolas Batum: Batum suffered a scary knee injury in a loss at Utah. Fortunately a MRI revealed no ligament damage and the team is calling the injury a contusion. He has been a spectator for Portland's last two games but is hopeful for Saturday.

Spencer Hawes: Hawes continues to have pain in his strained Achilles when he attempts to run but is hopeful he will return within the next week. The 76ers are hoping to avoid any serious injury by withholding their young center until he is 100 percent. He has missed nine straight games.

Gilbert Arenas: While the man formerly known as Agent Zero remains without a home, reports have begun to surface that Arenas underwent Orthokine Therapy on his ailing knee, the same German procedure utilized by Kobe Bryant. The procedure utilizes similar principles to a PRP injection, utilizing the athlete's own blood and proteins to create a more suitable environment for healing. If Arenas' knee is improved and he can find a team to sign him to a contract, he has the potential to be a sly midseason addition for fantasy owners.

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