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NBA Injury Analysis: Bogus 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
Just as Bogut has the minutes restrictions designed to protect his surgically repaired left ankle lifted, the Aussie center has suffered another injury and will be sidelined indefinitely. Bogut began experiencing back spasms, a painful symptom that is generally linked to a more serious structural problem. An MRI revealed a partially bulging disc in his back, which is both good and bad news. The good news lies in the fact that the disc has not completely herniated and can be treated in a non-surgical manner. Rehab exercises designed to strength the back extensor muscles, as well as the abdominals, can help correct the issue. Unfortunately, this takes time and patience has run understandably thin for Bogut owners. The situation gets even murkier when you factor in Bogut's injury-riddled past. He missed 43 total games in the 2008-2009 season managing a stress fracture in his lower back and has missed six other games with back-related issues in the seasons since. He could return in several weeks, but given the collected facts, it's time to move on from Bogut. His production when healthy hasn't been outstanding, and his inherent injury risk remains too high.

Andrew Bynum
Not a good week for big men named Andrew. Despite practicing for the first time this season, coach Doug Collins downplayed the significance and cast a doubt on Bynum's availability for the remainder of the season. Bone bruises in both knees have prevented the center for playing for the team that traded for him in August despite Orthokine treatment and multiple Synvisc injections. With 28 games left on Philadelphia's schedule and their playoff window closing, Bynum is looking like a precarious play for the remainder of the year. Even if he were to return, his minutes would likely be under strict limitations and time would need to be allotted for him to knock off some of the accumulated rust. Bynum just doesn't look like a guy that is going to be a serviceable fantasy player this season.

Joe Johnson and Deron Williams
The Nets backcourt doesn't have a good leg to stand on with both Johnson and Williams limited by foot and ankle problems. Johnson has missed two consecutive games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot while ankle issues have sidelined Williams.

Between the two guards, Williams' situation appears more problematic than Johnson. The All-Star point guard has received at least eight cortisone injections this season alone to help synovitis in both ankles. He also underwent a PRP procedure prior to the All-Star break. Williams has dealt with multiple ankle injuries through his career, none more significant than the Grade II left ankle sprain during the 2008-2009 season. He will continue to rehab and treat both ankles and is anticipating another round of injections prior to the playoffs. This is likely a good indicator he will miss some time as the playoffs approach, especially if Brooklyn knows their fate. He's another dangerous play moving forward, not only because of his current injuries but the risk associated with multiple cortisone injections. Cortisone can weaken tendons, and it's recommended that individuals limit the number of total injections they receive in a year. It isn't a set limitation but instead a wise guideline worth mentioning. Play D-Will when he's available, but make sure you have added depth at point guard just in case.

Johnson's plantar fasciitis is considered minor and only once in his 11-year career has the condition been a problem. He briefly dealt with a case of plantar fasciitis in the same foot during the preseason prior to the 2005-2006 season. Since then, nothing has been reported, suggesting this is an isolated incident. Plantar fasciitis can be painful and limiting, but it appears the Nets caught Johnson's case early. He remains day-to-day and should return to the lineup in the neat future. In the meantime, MarShon Brooks looks like the biggest beneficiary of Johnson's absence. Brooks played a season-high 32 minutes Sunday in a loss to Memphis.

Fast Breaks

Danny Granger: Granger looked like a guy who hadn't played since late October, missing on nine of his 10 shot attempts. He played 19 minutes in his debut, after missing the first 55 games recovering from patellar tendinosis in his left knee. Consider keeping him on the bench until his minutes are increased and he's established some sort of a rhythm.

Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond: Knight will be shelved for the immediate future after hyperextending his right knee. Remember the term hyperextended is not a diagnosis but more of a description of how the injury occurred. When the knee is forced beyond it's normal range of motion, muscles can be strained and ligaments can be sprained. An MRI revealed no structural damage but did show accumulated fluid. He's listed as day-to-day. The Pistons did get a bit of good news on Drummond. A visit with team physicians have led Detroit to believe the rookie center could be back as early as next week. He has missed the last eight games with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Kevin Love: Love has targeted a mid-March return from surgery needed to repair the twice broken third and fourth metacarpals in his right hand. His return will be a welcome addition for fantasy owners, hoping the surgery will allow the All-Star to rediscover his shooting stroke.

Jameer Nelson: The Magic point guard suffered a knee injury in a loss to the Mavericks and has missed two consecutive games. The injury was initially diagnosed a patellar tendon strain but an MRI revealed it to be a contusion. There's no real rush to get Nelson back as Orlando sits near the bottom of the conference, and he seems poised to miss a few more games.

Mo Williams: Williams is still avoiding contact to his surgically repaired right thumb. The pins have been removed, but he continues to work on improving his range of motion. Complete range in a mobile digit like the thumb is key to performing nearly all basketball-related activities, especially shooting. Look for Williams to return sometime in mid-March.