Injury Roundup | Thunder’s Paul George Will Continue to Be a Risky Option
Nicolas Batum CHA: elbow injury
Nicolas Batum suffered a torn ligament in his left elbow in the preseason and missed the first month of the regular season because of the injury. Then on November 22, Batum banged his elbow against Otto Porter and was diagnosed with an ulnar nerve contusion. On Sunday, Batum admitted that his left elbow has been bothering him since he made his return three weeks ago, saying that he’s “always” in pain and has “not been close to 100%” recently. He was ruled out of Monday’s game, and the Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating an additional three weeks of recovery time before Batum is healthy.
James Harden HOU: bruised left calf
Though this is likely a very minor issue, it’s worth mentioning that James Harden was listed as probable on the injury report for Monday with a bruised left calf. Harden has proved his durability in recent years and his calf has never given him issues before. It would be the safest bet to give Harden a rest day or two, but it doesn’t sound like the Rockets are expecting him to miss time going forward. There is always some risk of aggravation with large muscle injuries, no matter how minor.
Evan Fournier ORL: right ankle sprain
Evan Fournier went up for a shot during Wednesday’s game and landed on Nikola Vucevic’s foot when he landed, twisting his ankle. He needed the help of two people to get to the locker room. Initial X-rays were negative and an MRI on Friday confirmed that Fournier suffered an ankle sprain. Fournier seems cautiously optimistic about his return and thinks he should be considered day-to-day, which is a good sign. A grade 1 ankle sprain would require a three week optimal recovery time while a more moderate, grade 2 sprain would need five weeks to heal completely.
Joel Embiid PHI: back tightness
Joel Embiid was a late scratch on Sunday with back tightness. Any injury to Embiid is concerning, and he had issues with his back before. Back injuries do have a tendency to linger. He needs at least a week of rest according to the Inside Injuries algorithm.
Jusuf Nurkic POR: right ankle sprain
Jusuf Nurkic sprained his right ankle in last Tuesday’s game and hasn't participated in basketball activities since. He was able to walk off the court under his own power, but he struggled to walk and was grabbing high on his ankle as he laid on the court. X-rays on his ankle were negative, but the Blazers haven't released MRI results. There is no official timetable for his return, and the Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a 3-5 week Optimal Recovery Time.
Draymond Green GS: right shoulder soreness
Green missed Wednesday’s game with a sore right shoulder but was able to return to action on Friday against Detroit. This seems like another minor issue, but the little bumps and bruises are starting to add up for Green. He had back, foot, and knee injuries so far this season, and Steve Kerr has said that Green will continue to get maintenance days throughout the year. Green has become a perpetually Elevated Injury Risk.
Paul George OKC: right calf contusion
[caption id="attachment_261570" align="alignright" width="300"] Paul George is back, but not at 100 percent. (AP Photo/Chris Nicoll)[/caption]
Paul George suffered a contusion to his right calf in last Tuesday's game against the Jazz and had his right calf wrapped in ice after the game. George was on the sidelines on Thursday when the Thunder took on the Nets and then again on Saturday when they played the Grizzlies. Sunday, George was able to get in a successful rehab session and then return to the lineup on Monday. The Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a three week recovery time for George’s calf contusion. Despite the fact that he has resumed playing, he isn’t 100%. Large muscle injuries also tend to linger, so he is going to be an Elevated Injury Risk for the next few weeks.
Enes Kanter NYK: hip injury and back spasms
Enes Kanter was kneed in the hip in Saturday’s game against the Bulls and was seen limping badly after the game. He entered the arena on crutches on Sunday but was still somehow able to suit up against the Hawks, though he didn’t look healthy. Kanter missed three games to back spasms two weeks ago, and it’s very possible that the knee to the hip caused not only a hip contusion, but also aggravated his back problems. He should be considered a risky fantasy option for at least the rest of Week 9.
Robert Covington PHI: back injury
Robert Covington had to be helped to the locker room in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game after he landed on a sharp metal object when he fell into the stands. He moved very slowly as two teammates helped him off the court, but he was able to move under his own power. The good news is that both X-rays and CT scans came back negative, but the Inside Injuries algorithm is still calculating a three week Optimal Recovery Time. He won’t be healthy if he is in lineups before Week 11.
Kevin Love CLE: sore left hip
Kevin Love experienced some soreness in his left hip during warm-ups on Saturday and ended up being a late scratch for the game. Love has been a High Injury Risk since the start of the season and always seems to be dealing with an injury. Last season he missed 21 games to injury, and while about half of that time was dedicated to recovering from a knee scope, the other missed games were due to minor ailments throughout the season.
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