It’s Christmas time in the NBA which means it’s time to ice down two months worth of sprinting across the court. If you are an Eric Gordon, Anderson Varejao, or Amar’e Stoudemire owner you may soon be getting a nice gift from Santa deposited directly into your lineup. If you have Mo Williams, Glen Davis, or Byron Mullens, perhaps it’s time to reminisce on your year and ponder why Santa doesn’t like you. Let’s look at some players getting an extended Christmas vacation:
Mo Williams (thumb): Williams was originally diagnosed with a sprain but an MRI revealed serious damage to his ligament (the same one he needed surgery on in 2008) and Mo is out indefinitely and may require surgery. Jamaal Tinsley will hold down the Jazz starting point guard job for now.
Eric Gordon (knee): Gordon has been cleared for full contact practice as he continues to recover from knee surgery. He could return to the lineup as early as this weekend. Gordon is a great scoring threat with great steal ability, now would be the time to snatch him up if an impatient owner dropped him in your league.
Byron Mullens (ankle): Mullens is out with a “severely sprained ankle” after taking a bad spill Saturday at Denver. He is on crutches and the Bobcats can’t expect him back soon. Look for Hakim Warrick to get some opportunities at center as he fills in for the big man.
Glen Davis (shoulder): Davis is expected to miss four-to-six weeks due to a shoulder strain he suffered last week vs. Wizards. Andrew Nicholson and Gustavo Ayon figure to get plenty of opportunities in the paint until Davis returns but keep an eye on who ends up with the majority of the minutes.
Anderson Varejao (knee): Varejao is expected back in the lineup Wednesday vs. the Wizards after missing three games with a knee injury. Time to re-start his break out 14 PPG, 14.5 RPG season.
Kris Humphries (abdominal): Humphries missed Sunday’s game with an abdominal problem and after visiting a doctor Monday he is expected to undergo an MRI. Humphries says the injury is feeling worse so it’s hard to tell the extent of his injury until the test results come back. Humphries minutes have been down given his lack of production but Andray Blatche could get a slight minutes bump if Humphries is out for a while.
Amar’e Stoudemire (knee): Amar’e was expected back by Christmas but will instead miss the entire three-game road trip the Knicks are starting today. He is said to be healthy enough to return but the coaches want him to get more practices in. Look for him to likely return by the Knicks Jan. 1 game against Portland.
Wesley Matthews (hip): Matthews only lasted 10 minutes in Saturday’s game vs. Suns and didn’t even travel to Sacramento for the Blazers’ game against the Kings. He has essentially just played one game in Portland’s last six and is likely to miss at least another game or two.
Hedo Turkoglu (hand): Turkoglu returned to practice and appears close to returning to the court, possibly as early as this week. When healthy, Hedo is a solid fantasy producer who averages double-digit scoring with decent rebounds, assists, and steals. The Magic don’t have much going for them so he may take over quite a bit of opportunities when he returns.