Nene Hilario Injury: Updates on Wizards Star’s Foot and Return

Washington Wizards forward Nene injured his right foot Saturday night vs. the Milwaukee Bucks and will not return.

The Bucks had the report:

The Wizards, who have one of the NBA‘s most well-rounded starting fives when healthy, are no stranger to being without one of their stars. Bradley Beal suffered a broken wrist in the preseason. The team also went long stretches without Beal and John Wall in 2012-13, Nene’s first full season in Washington.

Of course, the biggest injury risk on the team remains the big man himself. Nene, a fortifying two-way presence when he’s on the floor, has played a full season once his entire 13-year career and has missed 20-plus games each of the last two campaigns. In 2013-14, he was limited to 53 games while dealing with various ailments, most notably a knee injury that cost him most of the season’s final two months.

The Wizards were hopeful, though, that Nene would be able to contribute more regularly this season. Their aspirations are no longer that of a team just looking to get into the postseason. Word from Washington’s locker room all summer and into the season has been about competing with the Bulls and Cavs in what appears to be an open(ish) East race.

Nene also kept himself in shape playing with the Brazilian national team at the FIBA World Cup.

“He’s in basketball shape now doing what he did for Brazil. No aches and pains or bumps and bruises from that,” coach Randy Wittman told reporters in October. “They basically each played all 20 minutes a game. That was a great offseason conditioning program for him.”

Washington already missed Nene once this season, though it was not injury-related. He was suspended for the Wizards’ road opener against the Miami Heat after leaving the bench during a preseason altercation between Paul Pierce and Chicago’s Joakim Noah

Losing Nene is far from a death blow if it’s short-term. Washington signed veterans DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries this offseason for these precise moments. Blair and Humphries aren’t great players, but they’re solid and can together offer 75 percent of Nene on a nightly basis. Drew Gooden is also still hanging around. Nene’s injury might be an opportunity to see how much Gooden has left in the tank.

But any long-term absence might hurt Washington’s playoff seeding and irreparably damage its shot at the Eastern throne.


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Eric Gordon Injury: Updates on Pelicans Star’s Shoulder and Return

Eric Gordon’s nightmare start to the season got a little worse on Saturday, as he was forced to leave early after suffering a shoulder injury.

The New Orleans Pelicans’ official Twitter feed confirmed the news:

In 32.6 minutes per game, Gordon entered Saturday averaging a mere 9.6 points on 38.6 percent shooting.

Should he be forced to miss timehe has missed at least 15 games in each of the last five seasonsAustin Rivers would likely start, while Jimmer Fredette would also see an increase in minutes.

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Timberwolves Injury Update: Ronny Turiaf is ‘out’ for tonight’s game against the Kings

The Minnesota Timberwolves enter tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings coming off a 121-92 blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Anthony Bennett lead the Timberwolves with 20 points in 32 minutes off the bench. At 3-8 on the season, the Timberwolves sit fourth in the Northwest Division. On the injury front, backup center Ronny Turiaf is officially listed out for tonight’s game against the Kings. Dirk  via Wikimedia CommonsIgor Mello of reported that Turiaf has had a difficult time with a hip injury that his limited him to just two games and one rebound.  It’s possible Turiaf will be ready for Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, but he continues to be listed as day-to-day. Expect Bennett to continue to get the majority of the work off the bench behind Gorgui Dieng. Turiaf, in his 10th NBA season, has not scored in 19 minutes over two games this season. The veteran has played for the Lakers, Warriors, Knicks, Heat, Wizards, Clippers and Timberwolves and has career averages

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Rodney Stuckey Injury: Updates on Pacers Guard’s Wrist and Return

The injury bug continues to hover around the Indiana Pacers.

Rodney Stuckey is the next Pacers player to go down, after the team announced he sprained his wrist in a 106-83 loss to the Phoenix Suns:

The Pacers described the play in which the injury occurred:

Stuckey’s been limited to six games this year, averaging 9.2 points and 1.8 assists a night.

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Celtics Injury Update: Vitor Faverani may be out for the entire season

The Boston Celtics fell to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday by the score of 117-100. The loss dropped the Celtics to 4-7 on the season, third in the Atlantic Division. Things will not get any easier for the Celtics as they play the Trail Blazers on Sunday. The Celtics will continue to be without Vitor Faverani due to a knee injury and there is no timetable for his return.Halley from Boston via Wikimedia CommonsI reported on October 14 that Faverani, whose 2013-2014 season ended in surgery in March after tearing the meniscus in his left knee, had swelling in his knee and underwent knee surgery and would be out 6-to-8 weeks.A. Sherrod Blakely, who covers the Celtics for, tweeted the following update on Faverani.#Celtics Vitor Faverani (knee) says no timetable for his return. Says there has been no talks about him being out all season. #Celticstalk— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) November 22, 2014Faverani, a 26-year old center from Brazil, played in 37 games for the Celtics last season. He averag

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Roy Hibbert Injury: Updates on Pacers Star’s Ankle and Return

Indiana Pacers All-Star center Roy Hibbert exited Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Suns with a sprained ankle in the first quarter.

The Pacers provided the details on Hibbert’s injury:

Hibbert can be a dominant force at times on the inside, but he has struggled maintaining consistency in his effort. With the offseason departure of Lance Stephenson and severe injury to Paul George, the onus has fallen on the frontcourt tandem of Hibbert and David West to lead the Pacers.

Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider noted how Hibbert’s defensive presence altered opponents’ shooting percentages from close range earlier in the season:

Even in an Eastern Conference that isn’t nearly as formidable or deep as the West, Indiana’s significant roster turnover has contributed to a decline in 2014-15. Losing someone as important and talented as Hibbert for any period of time only exacerbates the Pacers’ problems.

Head coach Frank Vogel does have Luis Scola to plug into his big-man rotation, but there is little depth beyond that.

If Hibbert can’t return soon, Vogel will have to deploy a smaller lineup and hope he can keep Indiana within at least shouting distance of playoff contention in the East.

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Timberwolves Injury Update: Kevin Martin may need right wrist surgery

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday by the score of 121-92. The blowout loss dropped the Timberwolves to 3-8 on the season, fourth in the Northwest Division. Anthony Bennett lead the Timberwolves with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting in 32 minutes off the bench. The Timberwolves were without Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin, both out with wrist injuries. The bad news on Martin is that his wrist is fracture and he may need surgery.TonyTheTiger via Wikimedia Commons reported that  Martin will have his wrist examined in the coming days to determine whether or not he’ll need surgery. It appears that Martin will be out at least six weeks, which is a significant loss to the Timberwolves. In absence, expect Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer and Mo Williams see the majority of the minutes in the back court and small forward. Martin, in his 11th NBA season out of Western Carolina, is averaging 20.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game this season. The veteran guard has played f

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Bulls Injury Update: Pau Gasol does on-court drills on Friday

The Chicago Bulls lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday by the score of 105-87. The Bulls were lead by Nikola Mirotic, who scored 24 points and hauled in 11 rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench. Even with the loss, the Bulls remain in first place in the Central Division with an 8-5 record. The Bulls played without Pau Gasol, who has missed the past three games with a calf injury. The good news is that Gasol was back on the court in practice on Friday.  Neon Tommy via Wikimedia CommonsGasol noted his progress on his official Twitter page.Today, great progress by being able to do some drills on the basketball floor. Getting closer to return! #SeeRed— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) November 21, also added that Gasol could return in time for Monday’s game against the Jazz or Tuesday versus the Nuggets. The Bulss have struggled over their last couple games, so having Gasol back in the lineup in crucial to their success, particularly with Taj Gibson also dealing with

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Knick Injury Update: Andrea Bargnani strains calf at practice

The New York Knicks head into Saturday’s game against the 76ers coming off a 115-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Carmelo Anthony lead the Knicks with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. At 3-10, the Knicks sit in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. They continue to play without Andrea Bargnani, who returned to practice on Friday. The bad news is he strained his calf and will miss tonight’s game.By Keith Allison via Wikimedia CommonsI reported on November 18 that Bargnani, who had been out with a hamstring injury since early in the month, could be ready to start practice this reported that Bargnani injured his calf in practice on Friday and would be out tonight against the 76ers. An MRI determined the injury to be a calf strain to go on top of the hamstring injury he’s still recovering from. There is no word how much time Bargnani will miss. Bargnani, in his ninth NBA season, averaged 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 42 games for the Knicks last season. The veteran c

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Taj Gibson Following the Derrick Rose Plan with Latest Ankle Injury

PORTLAND, Ore. — Taj Gibson is no stranger to ankle sprains, but the walking boot he was wearing in the Chicago Bulls’ locker room on Friday night was an unfamiliar sight.

“I didn’t even want to wear crutches,” he laughed. “Doctor’s orders.”

Gibson re-injured his left ankle midway through the third quarter of the Bulls’ 105-87 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. It was the same ankle he sprained against the Cleveland Cavaliers in October, although this one came at a much more inopportune time.

Midway through a seven-game road trip, the Bulls are without two starters (Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol) and two vital bench contributors (Gibson and Kirk Hinrich). And although Gibson has been known throughout his six-year career as one of the toughest players in the NBA, someone who has played through injuries year after year, he might not be back on the court for a while.

“I have to just be smart,” Gibson said. “I have to really get it strong. It hurts my athleticism, not being able to do certain things. I have to just be smart, try to get healthy and be there for my teammates. But it’s frustrating. Everyone knows how I am. It takes a lot to have me sit out.”

If his words sound familiar, it’s because they’ve been heard often from another voice in the Bulls’ locker room. Rose has battled serious knee injuries for two consecutive seasons and is currently sitting out with a strained left hamstring, and throughout his conservative treatment plan, his mantra has been the same: Just be smart.

Rose was one of the first people Gibson spoke to Friday night after returning to the Bulls’ locker room, and he’s going to follow the former MVP’s lead in taking his time coming back from this injury.

“Derrick asked me, ‘Is it the same ankle you hurt before?’” Gibson said. “And I said yeah. And he was saying to me, ‘You’ve got to be patient. You’ve got to stay on top of that. It’s a long year. You can’t sprint to the finish.’”

It’s an approach that’s alien to Gibson, who is just starting to come around to the idea that his long-term outlook is more important than playing tomorrow or the next day.

“I have to stop trying to run back out there, stop trying to play through these things,” he said. “We have a long season. But it’s just the dog in me that always wants to be out there and play. I have to learn from this.”

Meanwhile, as the injuries keep piling up, the schedule isn’t slowing down for the Bulls. This is far from their first time playing shorthanded. But considering how well they’ve played in the handful of games where they have had everyone healthy, it’s hard not to get frustrated at the constant parade of setbacks.

“It sucks that guys get hurt,” said Joakim Noah. “But you’ve got to keep moving forward because the games keep coming. Nobody feels sorry for you, so you’ve got to keep going and keep getting better. Hopefully Taj will be alright.”

With so many of their most important players out, it’s unclear what the rest of the rotation will look like. Rose, Gasol and Hinrich are all day-to-day, but with the high-altitude Utah-Denver back-to-back next on the schedule, followed by a trip back east to play the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, it’s not likely any of them will return this week.

The Bulls’ front office may look to fill the final roster spot if the injuries linger, but this is going to be a challenging stretch either way. There’s going to be a lot of Tony Snell and a lot of E’Twaun Moore in the rotation. Even 16-year veteran Nazr Mohammed, who was signed strictly as a veteran locker-room presence, got first-quarter minutes on Friday.

It will be a valuable learning experience for the Bulls’ younger players, but that will also likely mean some ugly wins and even uglier losses.

The next two weeks are going to look a lot like the Bulls’ last two years, scrapping for wins short-handed and relying on toughness to push through. At least this time, none of their stars’ injuries are career-threatening. 

Gibson hopes to keep it that way, which is why he’s taking a page from Rose’s book.

“I’ve got to trust the doctors and do this the right way, instead of just saying ‘patch me up, coach’ and throw me back out there.”


Sean Highkin covers the Chicago Bulls for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @highkin

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