Because the All-Star break took place over the weekend, there weren’t as many games and thus fewer injuries. So this week we will look at the biggest injuries and provide updates on some players who could be close to a return.
Dwyane Wade CHI: wrist sprain
The Bulls hope to have Wade back at 100 percent when the All-Star break ends. He underwent x-rays on his wrist last week, which came back negative. He missed their next game as he dealt with soreness and swelling, but this isn’t a long-term concern. He should be ready to go, and his wrist won’t affect his game.
Kevin Love CLE: left knee surgery
The Cavs have a much tougher road ahead of them without Love, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. It’s unclear when exactly he hurt his knee, but he now faces a six-week recovery. The team has not reported an exact injury, but this type of surgery often involves trimming a meniscus tear or cleaning up loose bodies. He could be back in early April if everything goes well throughout his recovery and he can get his lower body strength back.
Malachi Richardson SAC: hamstring tear
Richardson needed to be helped off of the floor after injuring his hamstring last Wednesday, and it didn’t look good. An MRI showed a partial thickness tear of the right hamstring. Early reports indicate that he will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, but it could take longer to get back to full strength. The rookie’s season could be over, and the Kings shouldn’t take any risks if he isn’t feeling great late in the year.
Avery Bradley BOS: Achilles strain
After missing the last 20 games due to a right Achilles strain, Bradley could return to the lineup on Friday night. Bradley’s injury was never considered that serious by the team. They were being extra “cautious,” but it was more significant than they let on. Achilles strains can linger and take much longer to heal than expected, but he may finally be ready to go. Fantasy owners should wait to plug him into lineups until he proves his body can handle it.
Joel Embiid PHI: meniscus tear
Embiid’s mysterious left knee injury finally has an explanation. He has been sidelined due to a slight meniscus tear. While he doesn’t need surgery right now, this can be painful to play through and lead to more serious injuries. Embiid has been out for around four weeks and is approaching the Optimal Recovery Time, so he should be back on the court soon. He’s no stranger to injuries, though, and missed two full seasons following multiple foot surgeries. No recovery is easy for him, so we need to see how he performs before he can be a trusted Fantasy option again.
Jeremy Lin BKN: hamstring strain
Lin can’t seem to shake the hamstring injuries that have ruined his season so far, but he could return to the Nets’ lineup this week. Lin injured his hamstring back in December, returned, then was injured again, and he “re-aggravated” the injury while training. That’s three related hamstring strains that have limited him to just 12 games this season. Each time he says he is being cautious but he ends up hurt again. Let’s hope this time around is different.
Chris Paul LAC: left thumb surgery
Paul is one month removed from surgery on his left thumb and is still at least a few weeks away from playing again. The initial 6-8 week timetable seems realistic and should be enough time for his thumb to heal. Paul was already doing some light shooting and dribbling drills a few weeks ago, so he continues to make progress without suffering any setbacks. Austin Rivers should continue to see the biggest jump in value while Paul is out.