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NBA Injury Analysis: Rockets' Backcourt Woes

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.

Kyle Lowry
Despite a wide range of rumors, Lowry was able to survive the trade deadline and remain in Houston. Unfortunately he wasn't as successful with his health as a bacterial infection is expected to sideline the Rockets point guard for two to four weeks.

Lowry began having abdominal pain and was running a fever before being admitted to a hospital in New York. There he underwent a procedure known as a laparoscopy, in which a small camera was inserted into the abdomen and utilized to inspect the area. The doctors diagnosed Lowry with the bacterial infection and began treating the issue with antibiotics.

While some may question why an infection would sideline Lowry for such a significant period of time, understand his entire immune system has been compromised. Bacteria multiply quickly, ravaging the body and forcing the immune system into overdrive. A weakened immune system leaves the body susceptible to other infections and injury as well. Time is needed to allow the medicine to either kill the bacteria or prevent it from multiplying. Keeping Lowry's activity level low will help the healing process move as swiftly as possible and insure he is able to come back and play at high level without the fear of a second infection.

In the meantime, Goran Dragic has taken over the starting point guard responsibilities and has become a hot fantasy commodity. In the four game's Dragic has started in Lowry's absence he has averaged 17.3 points and 8.3 assists per game. Snag Dragic if he's still available, even with Houston's recent acquisition of veteran point guard Derek Fisher.

Kevin Martin
Lowry's backcourt mate is dealing with an injury of his own as a strained shoulder has cost him court time and appears to be limiting his productivity. The injury has forced him out of Houston's last two outings but may have been an issue earlier than that. Martin shot a combined 4-of-18 from the field in the three games before the two missed games, scoring a paltry total of 15 points. A shoulder injury, especially one to the muscles surrounding the joint, would directly affect his shooting mechanics. The shoulder, in particularly the glenohumeral joint, is designed for mobility as numerous muscles control its various movements. A limitation of any one of these muscles has a trickle down effect on the entire joint, leading to weakness and limited range of motion.

Though Martin denies the injury is the culprit behind his recent cold streak, the Rockets will closely monitor the shoulder to assure it doesn't worsen or lead to a cascade injury elsewhere. Consider benching Martin until he breaks out of his slump or proves the injury is healed.

Fast Breaks

Jose Calderon: Calderon's ankle rehab is right on track and the Raptors hope to have him back in uniform as soon as Friday. The Spanish point guard has missed three games since violently turning his ankle in a game against the Pistons.

Stephen Curry: After Curry once again sprained his surgically repaired right ankle, the Warriors are considering shutting their point guard down for the season. The team will not put a timeline on his recovery but did say they will wait until he's 100 percent before allowing him to return. With Monta Ellis now in Milwaukee and Curry the official future of the franchise, don't be shocked if the third-year guard is done for the year. As a result Nate Robinson and Klay Thompson both see an increase in fantasy value.

Kevin Love: Love gave fantasy owners a scare Thursday night when he briefly exited with a left thumb injury. He was taped by the athletic trainer and returned in the fourth quarter, finishing with 25 points and 16 rebounds. X-rays taken after the game were negative and the team is calling the injury a sprain. He will likely wear a brace or be taped for the immediate future but it could have been a lot worse considering Love has previously fractured the same thumb. His rebound totals may take a tiny hit if his grip strength is affected at all but Love remains too good to consider benching.

Chris Paul: While Kobe Bryant's numbers improved after donning his plastic protective mask, the Clippers point guard wasn't quite as lucky. Paul suffered a nasal fracture against the Spurs and was forced to wear a similar mask designed to protect the area. However in the two games in which he wore the mask, his shooting percent dropped to 43 percent, down six points from his season average. The mask also appeared to have affected Paul's vision and awareness as he totaled just 10 assists over the same stretch. CP3 has since shed the mask and though his shot remains off, his assist numbers have returned to normal. With the nose healed, expect Paul to breakout of this slump quickly.

Deron Williams: The Nets didn't add Dwight Howard at the deadline but should get their in-house All-Star back over the weekend. Williams, who has missed three game with a calf strain, hopes to return during New Jersey's back-to-back that begins Friday in Orlando of all places. Williams could have new teammate Gerald Wallace by his side as the recent acquired Wallace is slated to make his debut Saturday against the Bobcats.

Chris Wilcox: Wilcox will become the second Boston player to require season-ending heart surgery, joining teammate Jeff Green in this unfortunate group. Wilcox will undergo surgery at the end of March after a recent physical revealed an enlarged aorta. While the situation is scary, physicians were able to catch the condition before it was career-ending or, even worse, life-threatening.

Greg Oden: Oden's injury-plagued career in Portland came to end after the team was forced to waive him following the trade deadline. Recovering from a third microfracture surgery on his troublesome knees, Oden faces a long and difficult road should he attempt to resume his NBA career.

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