After originally being diagnosed with a knee contusion, an MRI showed a torn left ACL for Zach LaVine. He will undergo season-ending surgery this week but has a chance to be ready for the start of next season if all goes well in his recovery. It takes most players around nine months following surgery to return to court and then another few months to get back to peak health. The Wolves will use a few different players to fill his role in the lineup.
Jimmy Butler CHI: heel contusion
Butler was suddenly ruled out during warmups last week due to a heel injury and missed the next three games. He returned to the lineup Friday at less than 100 percent, and then missed another game. He clearly isn’t healthy yet, and the Inside Injuries algorithm has a three-week optimal recovery time. He needs to rest through the All-Star break so he can come back at full strength. Right now his Basketball Quickness score is “slow,” a sign that he isn’t going to be effective if/when he plays.
Jabari Parker MIL: torn left ACL
Parker went down on a non-contact play while driving to the basket and immediately grabbed his left knee. An MRI soon confirmed a torn ACL, the second time he has had this injury in his left knee. Parker’s recovery time the second time around will be closer to 12 months, as the surgery and recovery is more complicated.
Kenneth Faried DEN: right ankle sprain
Faried was seen leaving the stadium on crutches and in a walking boot last week after spraining his right ankle against the Hawks. X-rays were negative, but it’s still a significant ankle sprain that could involve some minor ligament damage. The Nuggets are expected to keep him out through the All-Star break, but don’t be surprised if he is out even longer.
Evan Turner POR: fractured third metacarpal on right hand
Just as Evan Turner was getting more comfortable with his new team, he suffered a fractured finger that will sideline him for around six weeks. Turner was hurt while trying to work through a screen, causing a fractured third metacarpal on his right (shooting) hand. He tried to play through it but was wincing in pain, so it was clear he needed to be sent for x-rays. Turner’s shooting would be affected, as would his dribbling and passing abilities if he returns before the fracture is fully healed, which could take closer to eight weeks.
Dion Waiters MIA: left ankle sprain
Waiters has missed the Heat’s last three games due to a left ankle sprain, but he is expected to warm-up on Monday night with the intent to play if all goes well. If he is able to go, Wayne Ellington’s role would decrease, as he is sent back to the bench. Waiters remains in the Elevated Injury Risk category, so he will be vulnerable to a more serious ankle sprain by playing.
Kevin Love CLE: knee injury
The Cavs have been very secretive about the MRI results on Kevin Love’s knee. He’s already been ruled out for Tuesday, so either they’re being very cautious or it showed something they didn’t like (possible meniscus tear or ligament damage?) This is an injury we will be closely monitoring throughout the week, but for now it sounds like something to be concerned about.
Dwyane Wade CHI: wrist sprain
Wade was unavailable on Sunday because of an injury to his right wrist. X-rays were negative, so he’s likely not dealing with a fracture. Any injury to the shooting hand/wrist is something to be careful with. The wrist injury would affect his shooting, and ball control is a concern. When healthy, Wade is one of the better players in the league, but he always seems to be dealing with something.
Cody Zeller CHA: quad strain
After missing seven straight games due to a quad strain, Zeller made his return last Thursday. Unfortunately, it didn’t go very well and he’s back on the bench. The optimal recovery time for a Grade 1 quad strain is three weeks, and Zeller returned a week before he hit the 21-day mark. He’s now expected to sit through the All-Star break. Frank Kaminsky is the guy to go after while Zeller remains sidelined.
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