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NBA Injury Analysis: Mo Williams, 'Sheed and Ty Lawson

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.

Mo Williams
The Jazz have ruled Williams out indefinitely after a MRI revealed ligament damage in his injured right thumb. Williams has already been fitted for a cast and is unfortunately comparing this injury to one suffered during the 2008 season. He injured his right thumb while playing for the Bucks and attempted to play through the pain before ultimately sitting out Milwaukee's last seven games. He underwent surgery shortly before being traded to Cleveland. He reinjured the thumb in 2010 but the sprain then was minor. Now it appears he could once again need surgery to repair the damage. If surgery is needed then Williams would miss at least six weeks and could miss as much as two months. Keep an eye out for any developments but it sounds like fantasy owners should begin finding a suitable replacement. Jamaal Tinsley replaced Williams in the lineup.

Rasheed Wallace
The veteran forward has played well in his comeback season but is now battling a stress reaction in his left foot that will cost him at least three more games. Wallace missed several games with what was being called a chronic foot condition before further testing revealed the stress reaction. Several notable players including John Wall and Anthony Davis have suffered stress reactions in their knee and ankle respectively. As we discussed with these individuals, a stress reaction is a precursor to a stress fracture. Rehab and treatment focuses on minimizing the weight placed on and through the effected bone and reducing any associated inflammation.

Given the injury and Wallace's size and age, don't expect for this situation to quickly dissipate. Wall has yet to play with this season and Davis took 11 games to heal. If you are rostering Wallace in deeper formats considering looking elsewhere as I expect this to be an injury managed on a week-to-week basis and not a day-to-day one.

Ty Lawson
The Nuggets point guard suffered a left Achilles strain in the second quarter of Denver's blowout win over the Bobcats. While he is considered probable for Denver's next game, it will be interesting to see how he responds to the ailment. The Achilles is the conjoined tendon of the two muscles that make up the calf muscle complex. It is responsible for pointing the ankle in a direction known as plantar flexion. If the Achilles is impaired, the foot is not able to act as efficiently making running more difficult and reducing speed in the process.

Lawson's offensive game is predicated on his speed and any limitation could reduce his effectiveness. Denver's upcoming schedule will test Lawson's health with a murder's row of point guard on the docket. In the next five games, Lawson will face Steve Nash, Mike Conley, and Chris Paul twice. The one remaining game will pit Lawson against the Mavericks, a team in the upper echelon of offensive pace. Don't be surprised if Lawson's numbers take a dip in the next week as he attempts to manage his injury and a tough set of opponents.

Gerald Henderson
Just as he appeared to be moving past a left midfoot sprain, Henderson is once again dealing with an injury. The third year guard is now managing a right shin contusion and was a spectator for the team's loss on Saturday. The shin is actually the surface of the tibia and is easily bruised because it is poorly protected. Bone contusions are actually tiny cracks in the surface of the outer most layer of bone. The body repairs the injury site just as it would for a fracture, laying down tiny bony tissue in the injured area. Henderson could miss an additional game or two and, based on his previous returns from injury, will need time to reestablish himself.

Fast Breaks

Andrew Bynum: The Sixers released an update on Bynum, confirming he has increased his activity level as he continues to progress through rehab on his injured knees. Bynum has yet to play this season with bone bruises and softened cartilage in both joints. There remains no timetable on his return.

Eric Gordon: Gordon has been cleared for contact and hopes to be back at practice by the end of the week. He has stated a desire to be back in game by the end of December after missing the start of the season with left knee soreness.

Josh Howard: Howard was waived by the Timberwolves after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee. Sadly, Howard is familiar with the rehab having torn his left ACL in the 2009-2012 season. He will not play again this year.

Kevin Love: An eye injury kept Love out of the lineup against the Knicks. He was poked in the right eye in the team's win over the Thunder but did not travel with the team to New York. There has been no indication the injury is serious but Love could be forced to wear protective eye wear for the short term.

Byron Mullens: Mullens is expected to miss an extended period of time with a left ankle sprain. X-rays were negative for a fracture but the Bobcats believe the sprain is significant. Mullens is the team's leading rebounder and his absence would lead to more minutes for Bismack Biyombo and Hakim Warrick.

Steve Nash: After missing 24 games recovering from a fractured fibula, Nash is back. Any questions as to whether or not he would be eased back into the rotation were answered Sunday when he played 41 minutes in the Lakers' overtime win over the Warriors. Get him back in your lineups.

Dirk Nowitzki: Another former MVP is back in action as Nowitzki played his first minutes of the season in Sunday's blowout loss to the San Antonio. He missed the first 27 games of the year recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. He played 20 minutes off the bench, scoring eight points on 3-of-4 shooting including a dunk. Give Dirk time to improve his conditioning and shake any rust off but, like Nash, he remains a must play.

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