We have already seen John Wall and Eric Gordon return from season-long injuries and find their way right back into the lineup. Obviously there are plenty of sidelined players that fantasy owners have been waiting to have back in the lineup, none more so than Derrick Rose who will remain out until at least late February. There are plenty of lesser-names that have yet to see much (or any) court time this season but can return with big production. Let’s take a look at a few players that are making their way back on the court after extended absences.
Danny Granger (knee): The original three-month timeline for his November knee procedure is nearing and the Pacers could have Granger back as early as last week of January or first week of February. He is available in over 70% of leagues and should be universally owned when he returns. Last season he averaged 19 PPG and 5 RPG though he is no longer the 26 PPG player we saw a few years back.
Glen Davis (shoulder): Big Baby recovered from his sprained shoulder faster than anticipated and returned Monday against the Wizards. He only played 18 minutes in his first game back but shouldn’t be minutes-limited for very long.
Iman Shumpert (knee): Shumpert has finally been cleared to return after injuring his ACL last April. He has been cleared to play Thursday and while it is unclear if he will have limited minutes the Knicks’ could really use him with Raymond Felton out and Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni playing way too many minutes.
Manu Ginobili (hamstring): In his fourth trip to the injury report, Ginobili left Sunday’s game against Minnesota with a strained hamstring and is expected to miss 10 to 14 days with his latest injury. With Stephen Jackson also hurt, Gary Neal and Danny Green stand to get more time and opportunities.
Pau Gasol (concussion): Gasol will miss his fifth straight game Tuesday as he recovers from a concussion. He hasn’t passed the NBA concussion test and will have to do so in order to be cleared to return, so check his status prior to Thursday’s game against the Heat.
Jared Dudley (wrist): Dudley has missed back-to-back games with a strained wrist but said he expects to be ready to play Thursday against Milwaukee. He was a maybe for Monday’s game as well. Check his status before you start him.
Jordan Crawford (ankle): Crawford missed his third straight game with an ankle injury. Bradley Beal and AJ Price have been picking up the minutes in his absence, with John Wall back it is hard to tell if Crawford will still have the scoring opportunities he had prior to his injury when he returns.
Gerald Wallace (ribs): Wallace suffered a rib injury in Friday’s game against the Suns and sat out Sunday’s game against the Pacers. He will miss his second straight Tuesday against the Raptors and is questionable for the Nets’ game Wednesday against the Hawks.
Serge Ibaka (chest): Ibaka has missed back-to-back games with a chest contusion and could miss more time this week. The Thunder’s next game is Wednesday against the Nuggets so make sure you check his status before putting him in the lineup.