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NBA Injury Analysis: Bynum's Philly Debut Still on Hold

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 Bynum
The Bynum situation keeps getting worse as the center suffered yet another setback in his rehabilitation for a knee injury. Bynum has yet to play for Philly since the team acquired him in the offseason. He underwent Orthokine Therapy over the summer on his chronically injured right knee. He also received a lubricant injection designed to imitate the body's natural synovial fluid and help the joint move smoothly and better handle the high amounts of stress placed on and through it. However a bone bruise that occurred during a workout and lingering swelling has kept Bynum off the court. Now reports have surfaced that Bynum's left knee has become a problem, swelling after he spent a night bowling.

While Bynum attempted to downplay his decision to bowl, it was clearly a poor one. The low-impact rehab he had begun is carried out under watchful eyes. The 76ers medical staff closely monitors his sessions and likely had a detailed game plan to gradually progress his reps. It seems unlikely any member of the Philly staff was sitting in the bowling alley, carefully watching Bynum's biomechanics as he bowled. Furthermore the hard, unforgiving floors of a bowling alley will add to the stress placed on the knees, unless of course he has specialized designed bowling shoes, and that seems improbable too. A late December or early January return is still possible but the odds of that happening are diminishing quickly. Fantasy owners are forced to bide their time waiting for Bynum to return while those who have struggled out of the gate may be forced to sell him low.

Brandon Roy
Jumping from one chronic knee issue to the next, the news out of Minnesota isn't good as the Timberwolves have announced Roy will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee. The team is hoping Roy will miss just a few weeks but it's hard to imagine a guy coming off the seventh (SEVENTH!) knee surgery will be able to jump right back into things. Remember Roy missed all of last season due to the balky joint and it has been reported that the cartilage in his knee is completely worn down. With the meniscus pads in both knees worn down, the femur makes direct contact with his lower leg bones. The constant grind of bone-on-bone results in pain and inflammation that limits range of motion. It has been previously determined that an experimental meniscus transplant would not be beneficial for Roy and that constant maintenance and rest are the only ways to treat the problem.

The bottom-line is Roy remains a big risk for fantasy owners moving forward. If you are willing to take a chance on the former All-Star understand that he could be shutdown at any point. There is no telling how long Roy's knee will be able to hold up to the grind of a basketball season and there's no guarantee he will be able to return to his former level of productivity. His numbers in Minnesota do not justify a roster spot as he was averaging just 5.8 points and 4.7 assists in 24.4 minutes. While the recently-signed Josh Howard may be worth a look in deeper leagues he has injury concerns of his own, making rookie Alexey Shved the most likely to benefit from Roy's absence.

Dwyane Wade and the Heat
A foot sprain forced Wade out of the lineup for Miami's last two games but a break in the schedule may allow him to return this week. Saturday marked the end of a rough stretch for Miami where they played five road games in seven days. Foot sprains are tricky, especially for explosive guards like Wade and the Heat will do everything they can to protect one of their Big Three. They will carefully watch his return to insure he does not create a muscle imbalance as he compensates for the injury. Muscle imbalances can be very problematic, especially for a player that needed offseason knee surgery on the same leg. Any type of imbalance could lead to a cascade injury that could be more significant. The team is off until Wednesday and Wade hopes to return against Milwaukee.

Several of Wade's teammates, including LeBron James, have also been limited by a flu bug that has been going around the team. Viruses and illnesses are easily passed from teammate to teammate as the individuals are forced to share tight quarters on team planes, buses, and locker rooms. The rest and return to Miami should do the team wonders and let them continue to produce fantasy friendly numbers. If Wade can't play, Mike Miller would remain in the starting lineup.

Fast Breaks

Kyrie Irving: A bruised left index finger won't keep Irving out of the lineup but may affect his productivity for the immediate future. After sustaining the injury against the Mavericks, Irving struggled in his next outing, shooting 4-of-14 in a loss to the Sixers. He is too talented to bench but scale back your expectations for the next few games.

Kyle Lowry: Lowry remains out with a bruised cuboid bone in his right foot. The cuboid is one of the tarsal bones of the foot and is integral to the stability of the foot. The bone will need time to heal to insure proper weight distribution in the foot. Look for the point guard to miss at least one more week if not two. Jose Calderon will continue to start and should be owned in all formats.

Steve Nash: Nash could return to action sometime in the next 7-to-10 days. The two-time MVP has already been cleared to perform individual dribbling, shooting and agility exercises, but has not been a full participant in practice since suffering a small fracture to his fibula.

Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love: Both players participated in limited practice sets and could be back on the court before the new year. Love is expected back in early December after suffering a broken hand prior to the start of the season. Rubio, out since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in March, hopes to be back shortly thereafter. Love should be able to bounce back quickly but may need a few games to shake off any accumulated rust. Rubio, on the other hand, will be gradually welcomed back into the mix with his early minutes under strict supervision.

Gerald Wallace: Wallace returned from a six game absence to score four points in 25 minutes on Sunday. He had been sidelined with a sprained ankle. Get him back into your lineups in weekly leagues and hope he can reestablish himself quickly.

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