Major Injuries (month or more)
Fortunately, there were no new major injuries this week. Instead we got some updates on the existing injuries, some good and some bad. Andrew Bynum has been shutdown indefinitely adding further credence to the suspicion that he will miss the season. I am still holding in one of my deep leagues until something more definitive emerges. The NBA’s other center named Andrew anticipated return to practice this week was delayed and he is now also out indefinitely. Andrew Bogut also revealed that he had a micro-fracture surgery on his ankle in April and expressed his frustration with the team’s aggressive timelines. Yesterday word came from the team that he may need another surgery. This is getting ugly and he isn’t worth the frustration, so I am dropping not only from my teams but from the Depth Chart as well.
On the positive side, Ricky Rubio and John Wall reported progress with both likely to return sooner rather than later. Rubio has started practicing and is likely only days away. The Wizards are being overly cautious with Wall and he will probably another couple of weeks. Add both where available. Stephen Jackson is also looking to halve his original four week timeframe. His 37.1 FG% keeps him off my teams but if you are interested, I would wait to add until he has fully recovered.
We also learned that Dirk Nowitzki won’t be back before December 18 and Amar’e Stoudemire has voiced his willingness to come off the bench whenever he will be ready. The move will restrict Stat’s upside but I expect him to be more effective in a bench role.
Jason Kidd and Andrei Kirilenko both missed a couple of games with bad backs but are expected to be back this week. Chandler Parsons suffered a bone bruise running circles around the Raptors and will miss a couple of games.
There is still no timeframe for Steve Nash (leg) whose absense has much been longer than anyone anticipated. Consider him out for at least another week. His back-up, Steve Blake (abdomen) is out for at least another two weeks.
Gerald Henderson (foot) and Kawhi Leonard (knee) will either return tonight or very early next week. Henderson’s return is of particular interest in fantasy because it affects so many moving parts in Charlotte. Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon, Jeffery Taylor and even Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are each expected to lose 5 minutes a game to accommodate Henderson hurting everyone’s fantasy value. All should be downgraded and Gordon, Taylor and Henderson can be dropped in standard leagues.
Richard Jefferson (calf) and Carlos Delfino (hernia) didn’t play last week and neither has a timetable for a return but it could be as early as this week for both. Jefferson isn’t rosterable even when healthy and those speculating on Draymond Green will be able to return him to the wire. I did so earlier this week because he wasn’t showing enough to steal the job outright.
Delfino though has value as a 3P specialist especially considering that Houston plays at the league’s highest pace but like Billups and Jackson has more miss to his game than make; a career 40 FG%. He should be able to contribute more in other categories like rebounds and steals though. His minutes though may be limited given the much improved play of Parsons.
Brook Lopez may miss a game or two next week with a sore foot. If he does look for Andray Blatche to replace him in the starting lineup. He makes for a great add in daily leagues. Anthony Davis will also miss time this week with Ryan Anderson getting the starts.