Butler is dealing with a right heel contusion that could sideline him for a while longer. He was a limited participant at practice on Sunday, but he did not play against the Kings on Monday night. This isn’t a long-term injury, but he needs around a week to get healthy again.
Emmanuel Mudiay DEN: back injury
Mudiay missed Monday’s game because he aggravated his back injury during last Saturday’s game. He was downgraded from questionable to doubtful, which isn’t a good sign. Mudiay just returned from a five-game absence due to back problems, and the problems quickly returned. The optimal recovery time even for grade 1 back injuries is three weeks, and more than any other injury, back problems tend to recur. It may be best for Mudiay to be shut down for a few weeks so his back injury doesn’t stick around for the rest of the season.
Zaza Pachulia GS: rotator cuff strain
An MRI on Pachulia’s right shoulder showed a rotator cuff strain that will sideline him at least one week. The good news is that there was no damage that will require surgery or cause significant pain the rest of the year if he takes proper care of it right now. While he is out, the Warriors are going with smaller lineups, but Andre Iguodala is also seeing an increase in minutes.
Danilo Gallinari DEN: groin strain
Gallinari’s groin injury is not considered to be too serious, but he will still miss at least 10 days of action as he recovers. An MRI was negative, and the Inside Injuries algorithm has calculated a grade 1 strain. This comes with an optimal recovery time of three weeks, so it is best for the Nuggets to keep him out through the All-Star break. Groin injuries make lateral movements tough, and jumping for a rebound or driving to the basket can be painful and cause re-injury if he returns too soon.
Thabo Sefolosha ATL: groin strain
Sefolosha missed his fifth straight game on Monday night as he continues to recover from a groin strain. He has said that he won’t return until he is 100 percent, and that’s certainly the right decision because this injury can recur easily if he returns before he is healthy. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been starting in his place and has been great, so there’s even less of a reason to rush Sefolosha back.
Rodney Stuckey IND: ankle sprain
Stuckey can’t seem to stay healthy. He has played in just three games since December 14 because of various leg injuries, most recently an ankle sprain. He will be a game-time call Monday night, but he really should sit out. The injuries are piling up, and things will only get worse if he tries to play through this one and ends up over-compensating.
Kevin Love CLE: back spasms
Love dealt with back spasms again last week and was forced to leave a game, but an MRI came back clean, so for now, the Cavs aren’t too concerned. Love played Monday night without any trouble with his back. The problem with back injuries is that they tend to recur. Even if he is feeling ok over the next few weeks or months, they can pop back up at any time. He needs work on strengthening all of his core muscles and be extra cautious if he feels anything wrong with his back so he can be healthy down the stretch.
Derrick Rose NYK: ankle sprain
An ankle sprain has sidelined Rose for the Knicks’ last four games, but he returned on Monday night. He felt good after going through a full practice on Sunday but he struggled in Monday’s game with just five points, four rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes of play. Rose is still two weeks away from the optimal recovery time for a grade 1 sprain, so he risked re-injury by playing on Monday night. We all know about Rose’s injury history, so anytime he has to miss games because of a lower body injury it’s worth watching very closely.
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