The Blazers are going up in smoke, Kyle Lowry is back to pick up some injury report frequent flier miles, and the Lakers are hoping to get Pau Gasol back. What else is new? Let’s take a look at the rash of leg injuries around the league and some short-term pickups to help ease your fantasy team’s pain.
LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle): Aldrige sprained his ankle landing on Ryan Anderson‘s foot in Sunday’s game vs. the Hornets. His X-rays came back negative but he’s on crutches and there is no timetable for his return. The banged up Blazers only have Jared Jeffries and Luke Babbitt to replace him which means it’s more likely J.J. Hickson plays some power forward making room for Meyers Leonard at center.
Wesley Matthews (hip): Matthews missed two games last week with a hip injury, decided to return Sunday and lasted just three minutes before deciding he wasn’t feeling it. Luckily, Matthews has until Thursday to rest. If you can’t tell from the Aldridge update, the Blazers don’t have much of a bench.
Carmelo Anthony (ankle): Melo was scratched again for Monday’s game and it’s hard to tell if he will be ready for Wednesday’s game vs. Nets. In the meantime, 28-year-old rookie Chris Copeland has filled in nicely putting up 40 points over two fill-in starts.
Tyreke Evans (knee): His knee has been barking all season and he has not been able to get himself right since November. He missed two games after Thanksgiving, came back for one, missed another three, played two games last week, and then lasted just 10 minutes Sunday against the Nuggets before exiting the game. It’s likely he will get another week or so to rest but this is becoming a serious nagging problem for Evans and fantasy owners. If he is out a while, Marcus Thornton or Francisco Garcia will have to pick up the slack.
Jrue Holiday (foot): Holiday has missed two games but may return this week if his foot feels better. Evan Turner and Nick Young have really stepped up in his absence but the Sixers definitely need Holiday’s 18 PPG and 9 APG back.
Patrick Patterson (foot): Patterson could be out a while with a bone bruise in his foot which gives Greg Smith and Marcus Morris a serious chance at some fantasy production. Wait and see who gets the bulk of Patterson’s time.
Pau Gasol (knee): He’s missed eight straight games but the Lakers expect him back as early as Tuesday and no later than Saturday depending on how his leg feels in practice.
Dion Waiters (ankle): After missing eight straight games, the Cavs hope to have Waiters back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Raptors. Before his injury, the 21-year-old rookie was really coming into his own with very solid shooting and assist numbers.
Kyle Lowry (triceps tear): Lowry has missed three games with a triceps tear and is expected to be out at least through this week. This is his second injury of the season and if I were to put money on it I’d definitely bet it’s not his last injury of the season. As has become the norm, Jose Calderon returns to the starting lineup (where he has been as often as Lowry at this point) where he will put up ridiculous Rajon Rondo-like assist numbers until Lowry returns.
Nene (foot): Although the Wizards are keeping him to 20 minutes per game, Nene still managed to injure his foot and missed yet another game Saturday against the Heat. The Wizards are optimistic he could play Wednesday vs. the Magic but I wouldn’t count on it. Despite the 20-23 minute limit, Nene was averaging 13.5 PPG and 9 RPG in his last three games before going down.