Danilo Gallinari Injury: Updates on Nuggets Star’s Knee and Return

The Denver Nuggets are once again forced to worry about the status of Danilo Gallinari after the forward was forced to leave the team’s game against the Suns on Wednesday night with knee soreness.

The Nuggets passed along further information:

One of the toughest things for a franchise to handle is a player coming back from a serious injury. That was the case coming into the season for Gallinari. He had missed 18 months as he recovered from knee surgery to repair his ACL.

While knee soreness is obviously an ambiguous diagnosis with varied levels of severity, the Nuggets have to be concerned he’s done something to aggravate a former injury.

The plan at the outset was to steadily increase his workload. Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post provided comments from head coach Brian Shaw about the situation:

Along with the physical limitations after an extended period on the sidelines, it’s also a mental battle. Each player’s situation is unique, but there’s always a hurdle to jump over in terms of having complete faith your knee is going to hold up at full NBA speed.

So it’s often a lengthy process. Often, players don’t start looking completely like themselves again until the next season.

This potential setback could make things even more difficult in Gallinari’s quest to get back on track. Of course, a lot will depend on the severity of the latest injury.

He was very happy with how he was playing before originally going down with the knee issue near the end of the 2012-13 campaign. Jeff Caplan of NBA.com noted the small forward’s thoughts on where he was and where he wanted to be once the comeback was complete:

I was playing very well. I thought at that point right before the All-Star Game, I should have been called for the All-Star Game [...] because we were one of the best teams in the league, and so I think you have to call, you have to call somebody from the Nuggets to represent a great franchise and a franchise that was doing very good. I thought that me and Ty Lawson, we were the two that could have, should have been called for the All-Star game. So I thought I was right at that level, and so my goal is to get back at that level, if not better.

Gallinari is still just 26. There’s plenty of time for him to reach those expectations, but staying healthy for an extended stretch is essential. Only time will tell if that happens.

As for the Nuggets, they will likely turn to a combination of Wilson Chandler and Alonzo Gee until Gallinari is cleared for action again. Neither of them presents the same type of upside, but as a tandem they should provide solid production.

All Denver can hope is the latest scare doesn’t turn into anything major. It doesn’t want to see Gallinari in street clothes for the majority of another season.

 

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Lakers Injury Update: Carlos Boozer could return for tonight’s game vs. the Grizzlies

The Los Angeles Lakers will face off against one of the league’s best tonight – the Memphis Grizzlies. Fortunately for the Lakers, there is word that injured forward Carlos Boozer could be ready to make his return after missing Sunday’s game against the Nuggets with a shoulder injury, as reported by the Score.  Lakers forward Carlos Boozer could return Wednesday vs. the Grizzlies. http://t.co/RmfwOMezFG pic.twitter.com/TirY879mBp— theScore (@theScore) November 26, 2014 Carlos is averaging a respectful 13.3 PPG and 6.5 RPG for the Lakers this year and although Kobe would love to see more out of him, it’s not realistic. Boozer’s game has been on a slow decline since leaving Utah where he averaged roughly 19 and 10 over six seasons. Although Boozer may be unable to play at the level he did when he was in Utah or with Bulls, he still has a lot left in the tank. 
If Boozer isn’t able to play tonight, the Lakers will likely insert Ed Davis into the starting lineup. Davis was drafted by the Rap

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Pacers Injury Update: Roy Hibbert is considered ‘doubtful’ for tonight’s game vs. the Spurs

Indiana Pacers starting center Roy Hibbert will likely miss tonight’s game against the Spurs, the second straight contest he’ll watch from the bench. Hibbert sprained his left ankle on the 22nd during a game versus the Suns and after leaving the game just seven minutes in, has not seen the court since.Roy Hibbert (ankle) doubtful for Wednesday http://t.co/L1NwzAcOi6— Rotoworld Basketball (@Rotoworld_BK) November 25, 2014The injury initially did not look too serious, however now it appears the center will miss about a week due to the sprain. The 7’2″ big man from Georgetown is having a career year, posting career highs in points per game, blocks per game, and free throw percentage. He has taken a bigger role in the Indiana offense because of the injury to Paul George and the loss of Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets. To make matters worse for the Pacers starting power forward David West has missed the entire season thus far, however figures to return to the Indiana lineup as soon as this Friday

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Isaiah Thomas Injury: Updates on Suns Star’s Ankle and Return

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas is dealing with an ankle injury that has his status uncertain.

Suns coach Jeff Hornacek spoke about Thomas’ injury, via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:

Thomas, 25, has played a key role for the Suns off the bench this season. He has averaged 15.5 points and 4.1 assists per game and has been surging recently with at least 16 points in his last three games.     

ESPN Stats & Info notes how productive he’s been this year:

Luckily for the Suns, they have plenty of depth at the point guard position, including Goran Dragic and Tyler Ennis.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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Eric Gordon Injury Is Blessing in Disguise for New Orleans Pelicans

There wasn’t much silver lining in the New Orleans Pelicans‘ first full game without shooting guard Eric Gordon on Tuesday night. Anthony Davis tied a season low with 14 points; the team made just 41.8 percent of its field-goal attempts; and the shorthanded Pels fell to 7-6 this season after a 99-89 loss to the similarly up-and-coming Sacramento Kings.

There’s a strong case to be made that Gordon’s injury will do some good things for this club. Even if the Pelicans aren’t immediately better without him, this could very well yield some postseason payoff. This is a serious injury that opens some big doors for others in the rotation. 

The Pelicans released an announcement (via NBA.com) saying, “Gordon will be out indefinitely with a left shoulder injury,” and adding that, “An MRI revealed Gordon suffered a torn labrum as a result of the left shoulder subluxation injury that occurred Saturday night at Utah.”

It has all the makings of a prolonged absence, particularly with the looming possibility of surgery (and the recovery period that would ensue).

“We’ll see,” Gordon recently told reporters. “It’s a full tear. I still have a labrum. But it’s tough for any athlete to deal with that.

“If I keep on playing, it’s going to be a lingering issue. This thing doesn’t heal all the way correctly, I’ve heard, unless surgery happens. I don’t know, [the surgery option is] still hard to determine right now.”

He indicated it may take another week or two before a decision is made about surgery. Either way, this seems destined to turn into a months-long process. According to NOLA.com’s John Reid, “he could possibly miss up to three months or more to make a full recovery if he undergoes surgery.”

The glass-half-empty scenario is easy enough to paint. 

“We’re definitely missing a big part of our team,” teammate Tyreke Evans told media this week. “He plays hard all the time and is a good teammate.”

Gordon had started 12 games this season and averaged 9.5 points in 31 minutes per contest. Early-shooting woes (including a 39.8 percent success rate from the field) notwithstanding, the Indiana product clearly plays a prominent role for head coach Monty Williams—as he should during a season in which the organization will pay him $14,898,938.

The seventh-year veteran hasn’t played in more than 64 games since his rookie campaign in 2008-09. One would assume his health is indispensable to New Orleans’ ambitions this season.

Maybe not.

In a perfect world, the Pelicans would spend the next couple of months learning some lessons the hard way, sneak into the playoffs nevertheless and then find a healthy Gordon waiting for them in March or April. This is the more optimistic scenario, and it may be the more probable one.

The Pelicans currently rank 10th in the Western Conference and could still make a strong run at the No. 8 seed without Gordon. Hoping for anything better than that might be getting greedy, but this team has enough talent to remain in the postseason conversation.

If recent years are any indication, it will be a close race—but not an unwinnable one.

The good news is Davis is so far having an MVP-caliber season, averaging 25.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in 36.7 minutes through 13 games. Point guard Jrue Holiday is healthy, and swingman Tyreke Evans has been productive across the board (though less than efficient from the field). With Ryan Anderson contributing nearly 15 points per contest off the bench, this team has options.

It will be in especially good shape if the supporting cast steps up. Third-year shooting guard Austin Rivers played 27 minutes against the Kings and should see similar playing time for the remainder of Gordon’s absence. Through 13 games he’s only averaged 7.5 points in 22 minutes per game, but he is making a career-high 45.3 percent of his field-goal attempts.

That’s actually an upgrade over Gordon’s mark.

CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore crunched the numbers and also found that, “the starting combination of Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday have individually and as a pair been better with Austin Rivers on the floor than Eric Gordon.”

“A lot of this has to do with what has made so many dual-point-guard lineups successful,” Moore adds. “It gives you two playmakers and ball-handlers, and Rivers’ ability to get to the rim really helps when the weak side opens up because the defense must honor Davis and Holiday.”

In short, Rivers may benefit from increased time alongside the Pelicans’ best players. As a complementary player free to pull the trigger, he should get some quality looks.

Pressed into increased usage, Rivers’ efficiency may suffer. But the 22-year-old Duke product certainly has an opportunity to prove he can carry a more significant load.

So does 24-year-old small forward Darius Miller, who started for Gordon in what was just his fifth appearance this season. The former second-round pick went scoreless in 14 minutes on Tuesday night, but his coach has faith in his ability to bring something to the table.

“Darius is obviously a guy who is prepared [to contribute],” Williams told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “Our [player development] program is important to us because you never know when you’re going to get your name called. Darius, Luke, Tyreke, all those guys have played the 3 position for us.

“I think Darius would have to be a guy ready to play minutes…It’s on me to make the right decision to put guys in the game. The difference is putting someone in that small forward position who can be consistent. That’s something we have to work out.” 

Jimmer Fredette could find himself in the mix as well. He only played nine minutes on Tuesday, but he could shoot his way into a consistent role.

More than any individual contribution, a little early adversity may help the Pelicans build some grit and connectivity. They have the talent to replace Gordon for a few months, but they’ll also need resolve. With a thinner margin for error, playing defense and doing little things now matter even more.

Hopefully that builds some good habits. Between individuals stepping up and the collective coming together, the Pelicans should be stronger when Gordon returns.

So long as their bad injury luck stops here.

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Knicks Injury Update: Carmelo Anthony doubtful with back spasms

Star New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is officially listed as doubtful, per Knicks PR, for tomorrow night’s game versus the Dallas Mavericks due to back spasms. Carmelo Anthony did not practice today in Dallas with the team and is listed as doubtful for tomorrow with back spasms.— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) November 25, 2014 During last night’s game in Houston, Carmelo Anthony made a jumper in the second quarter but winced in pain upon landing. He left the game and did not return with the team citing back spasms. He also didn’t speak with reporters after the game as he was still receiving treatment, via the New York Times’ Scott Cacciola.Anthony is averaging 23.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG this season.Wikimedia CommonsLike what you’re reading? Subscribe to our email list for daily injury updates!Email Address Follow @sprtsinjryalert For more commentary and analysis, visit our friends at Last Word on Sports!

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John Henson Injury: Updates on Bucks Forward’s Foot and Return

Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson exited Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons in the first half with a foot injury.

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Henson’s status:

Henson is a talented shot-blocker and has tremendous length, but in the midst of his third NBA season, the former North Carolina college star hasn’t lived up to his billing as a first-round draft pick.

The 23-year-old hasn’t consistently cracked the starting lineup. He could stand to add bulk to his frame to be a more imposing force in the paint.

The Bucks should manage fine without Henson for the time being. Their big man rotation features adequate depth with Larry Sanders, Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova.

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Joakim Noah Injury: Updates on Bulls Star’s Knee, Eye and Return

Chicago Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah will miss Tuesday’s game against the Denver Nuggets with a variety of ailments. 

ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reported on the unfortunate news:

Noah is known for his tenacity and competitive fire, but he often plays banged-up due to his physical, relentless style of play. That contributed to Noah’s need for offseason knee surgery, limiting his minutes to start the 2014-15 campaign.

The Bulls need Noah healthy if their current nucleus is ever meant to make a legitimate championship push.

Past NBA MVP point guard Derrick Rose has struggled to stay on the floor throughout his career. Should Noah eventually succumb to health issues too, Chicago will be hard-pressed to compete for a Larry O’Brien Trophy.

While Noah recovers, coach Tom Thibodeau will be shuffling around the frontcourt rotation. Pau Gasol should eat up the majority of minutes at the center position in his absence. 

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Wizards forward Nene sits out with foot injury (Yahoo Sports)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wizards forward Nene is sidelined with a right foot injury.

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Warriors Injury Update: Leandro Barbosa and Andrew Bogut are considered ‘questionable’ for tonight’s game vs. the Heat

The Golden State Warriors will put their impressive 10 – 2 record on the line today when they meet up with Chris Bosh and the 8 – 6 Miami Heat. Unfortunately, the Warriors will be without the services of both Leandro Barbosa and Andrew Bogut for today’s contest. Both players sustained injuries during Sunday’s 91 – 86 victory over the Thunder. Barbosa scored only one point before leaving with a right knee sprain six minutes into the first quarter, while Bogut played only eight minutes before suffering an orbital contusion. The good news is, according to R.J. White of CBS Sports, the CT scan on Bogut’s head came back negative. As reported by our very own KKauffman1969, David Lee will remain ‘out’ and likely won’t return until sometime in December. 
Today’s tip-off between the Warriors and the Heat is scheduled for 4:30 PM EST and can be found on NBA TV. Follow @RyJones4 Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our email list for daily injury updates! Email Add

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