With nineteen weeks behind us, it seems like every NBA player is feeling the wear and tear of the long season. This week’s injury report features nineteen players, not including guys who are fantasy irrelevant anyway. In other words, the ice pack industry is having a great week. No team has been spared, especially the Bulls who are now playing with a seven-man rotation. Let’s take a look at how much fire power your team is going to miss out on this week and some guys that can alleviate the hit.
Kirk Hinrich (foot): My favorite injury report frequent flyer is out of his walking boot and while he is still suffering from swelling in his injured foot he may return sometime during the Bulls’ three-game road trip. Having played in just four games since January 30, I’m not sure Hinrich is worth owning in most leagues but definitely check his game-time status if you need him in your lineup.
Taj Gibson (knee): Gibson has now missed seven games with a sprained MCL but ESPN reports he is nearing a return to the court. Normally I wouldn’t consider Gibson fantasy relevant but with the Bulls banged up and mostly using just seven players I can definitely see Gibson getting plenty of minutes and opportunities when he does return.
Richard Hamilton (back): Hamilton has now missed six straight with a back injury and will miss at least another three games.
Kyrie Irving (shoulder): Kyrie Irving makes his not-so-long awaited return to the injury report, this time with a sprained shoulder. He will miss three-to-four weeks. Shaun Livingston should see a bump in minutes and opportunities while Irving returns to his usual role on the Cavs’ sideline.
Shawn Marion (calf): Marion has missed back-to-back games with a calf contusion and is questionable for Tuesday’s game against Milwaukee. He appears to be a game-time decision so be sure to check his status late. Jae Crowder will get the starting nod if Marion is out once again.
Brandon Knight (ankle): Knight rolled his ankle badly just four minutes into Monday’s game against the Jazz and had to be carried off the court by teammates. He has been diagnosed with a “severe” sprain and it looks like he may miss quite a bit of time. Jose Calderon and Rodney Stuckey should get a nice fantasy bump in his absence.
Eric Bledsoe (calf): Bledsoe missed Sunday’s game against the Pistons with a sore calf and is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against Memphis. He’s been playing 10-15 minutes per game since the Clippers healed up so at this point he isn’t worth owning when healthy anyway.
Zach Randolph (ankle): After missing four straight games with an ankle injury, Randolph practiced Monday and looks like he’s ready to go for Tuesday’s tilt against the Blazers.
Shane Battier (illness): Battier didn’t practice Tuesday morning and will be a game-time decision for Tuesday night’s faceoff with the Hawks. He has reached double-digit points in just two of his last five games and may not be worth starting anyway.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (toe): Mbah a Moute is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Mavs with a turf toe injury that he presumably suffered tripping over his own name. He’s primarily a defensive player whose numbers have dwindled and isn’t worth starting in most leagues.
Ersan Ilyasova (knee): Ilyasova has missed two straight with a bone bruise in his knee but intends to play through the pain Tuesday when the Bucks square off against the Mavs.
Larry Sanders (knee): Sanders missed Sunday’s game against the Kings with a hyperextended knee but, like Ilyasova, intends to play through the pain Tuesday against the Mavericks.
Andrei Kirilenko (calf): Kirilenko has missed six straight games with a calf injury and is out for Tuesday’s game against the Spurs. There was talk about him playing as soon as Tuesday so it’s likely he returns to the court some time this week.
Amare Stoudemire (knee): Amare will undergo a procedure called knee debridement and is out for the next six weeks. You can safely drop him since he won’t be back during the regular season. Kenyon Martin, Kurt Thomas, and Chris Copeland are all candidates to pick up minutes so keep an eye on the Knicks’ frontcourt situation.
Nick Young (ankle): Young has missed seven straight games with a sprained ankle but thinks he may be healthy enough to play Wednesday against the Heat. If he doesn’t play Wednesday he will almost surely be back by Saturday’s game against the Pacers.
Marcin Gortat (foot): There are a lot of conflicting reports about how long Gortat will be out with a foot injury but it looks like he’ll miss at least a long stretch of time (if not the rest of the season) which means he is likely out for the fantasy playoffs. Jermaine O’Neal figures to be the biggest beneficiary in his absence.
LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle): Aldridge rolled his ankle in pretty ugly fashion in the final minutes of Sunday’s game against the Hornets. He says he intends to play in Tuesday’s tilt against the Grizzlies but double-check before you start him.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow): Bargnani will need further evaluation on his elbow injury and some reports say it may be a while until he returns. Check his status once his MRI results are in.
Bradley Beal (ankle): Beal has missed three straight games with a sprained ankle and is not likely to play in Tuesday’s game against the Cavs. He may miss all week and possibly longer as his ankle doesn’t seem to be getting better.