NBA: Most Fantasy-Relevant Injuries Update

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Kobe Bryant

April 12, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti and center Robert Sacre (50) help shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) as leaves the game in the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center. Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon. He under went surgery April 13 and is expected to miss six to nine months. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA’s 116-game preseason is upon us. Though players’ fantasy relevance is still weeks away from being a factor, it’s good to know which of them are hampered by injuries now as it can dictate their play for the rest of the season. Just look at Deron Williams last year.

Below you’ll find some of the bigger names in fantasy b-ball and news on the injuries (whether semi-serious or not) they’re currently plagued by.

LaMarcus Aldridge – Initially, the news regarding LA was not promising. Said to be suffering a left hip flexor injury, it was thought the big man could miss a chunk of the season. That news was made worse by his history with hip-related ailments. Luckily, it looks now that Aldridge is actually dealing with a left quad strain. He’ll need some time to recover but nothing near what was once projected.

Kobe Bryant – The Black Mamba is currently out of the States, undergoing a platelet-rich plasma treatment for his knee. He’s had the treatment before and isn’t thought to be anything that will hamper his performance. Still, he’s 35 and is already contending with a torn Achilles injury which can be a career-ender for players his age.

Chase Budinger – Budinger doesn’t figure to have any fantasy relevance at least through the end of November. The forward is out indefinitely after getting arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He only had 25% of his meniscus removed so he’s due back at least 5-6 weeks from now. He can still be a nice weapon in deep fantasy leagues upon his return.

Danilo Gallinari – The outlook on the Nuggets forward is getting a little more rosy as Gallinari recently told The Denver Post that he could be back late November or early December. With the season starting in late October, the most optimist projection sees him missing only a month of playing time.

Jeff Teague – Teague can have a monster year in 2013-14 if things click in Atlanta. Presently, he’s day-to-day while dealing with a sprained wrist.

Greivis Vasquez – More so than on DeMarcus Cousins, the fate of this Sacramento team might fall on Vasquez, who has the passing abilities and unselfishness to really get this squad going. He’s about 85-90% healthy in his recovery from ankle surgery.

Russell Westbrook – As most know, the action-packed point guard had corrective knee surgery to take care of an issue from the first one. More info here.

Mo Williams – Woe is the right ankle injury. Williams, primed to be a nice mid-level fantasy point for Portland, has missed three straight practices because of a bothersome right ankle. No word on when he’s expected to improve.

Nick Young – Young promises to be a nice fantasy option in L.A. who can see a ton of minutes this season. He recently hurt his right ankle and is expected to miss some exhibition games.

Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles
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