Tagged in: injury

Bulls´ Daniel Gafford to miss 2-4 weeks with dislocated thumb

Two minutes into Wednesday night’s home match versus the Washington Wizards, rookie center Daniel Gafford ran off the court gripping his right thumb.

Based on the broadcast’s feed, it’s hard to tell exactly what happened, but according to NBC Sports Chicago’s Tony Gill, those on the floor could see that Gafford’s thumb “went backward.”

Shortly after he left the game, the Bulls informed he would not return and simply reported a “right thumb injury.” However, The Athletic’s Sham Charania swooped in a couple of minutes later and announced Gafford would miss 2-4 weeks with a dislocated right thumb.

With the Bulls already down Wendell Carter Jr. until at least mid-February, they were relying heavily on Gafford to handle the team’s rim-protecting duties.

But now, the team will be down to just Luke Kornet and Cristiano Felicio as the only two centers on the roster. Of course, as a seven-footer, Lauri Markkanen can be shifted over to play underneath the basket as well, though it’s never been his strong suit.

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Gafford was picked by Chicago in the second round of last year’s draft.

He was averaging 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds coming into the game.

Carter again is out, this time with a severely sprained right ankle that will sideline him for four to six weeks. With both Carter and Gafford out, coach Jim Boylen used Luke Kornet initially. He also featured some lineups with Lauri Markkanen at center.

“It’s real disappointing,” Gafford said, who had been starting for Carter. “As much as I want to be out there, I’m going to have to take this time to recover and make sure I can go back out there and do the things that I’ve always been able to do. It’s taken a toll on me right now.”

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Lakers´ Rajon Rondo with finger fracture; Anthony Davis misses third consecutive game

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis missed his third consecutive match with a bruised backside while guard Rajon Rondo, with a hand injury, also sat versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

Frank Vogel said that Davis has made progress, but is still dealing with some soreness. However, he expects his team to compete at the same level they played at when they upset the Thunder this past weekend.

“We’ve been without AD for a couple of games now, so hopefully we’ve found a little rhythm with what those lineups are going to look like, with (Kyle Kuzma) starting at the four and (Jared Dudley) backing him up,” Vogel said.

Rajon Rondo was also out of Monday night’s game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers after an MRI revealed a non-displaced volar plate avulsion fracture of the right ring finger. 

Rondo suffered the injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

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Davis worked out on the court before the Cavs game, but Vogel said the Lakers’ star big man “still had some soreness” and was “still not ready” to return. Vogel, who said the Lakers would take the “long-term, marathon approach” with Davis’ injury when asked about it last week, was asked how healthy Davis would need to be in order to return to the court.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be 100 percent pain free,” Vogel said. “It’s really just going to be day-to-day and he’ll communicate with the medical team and we want him as close to pain-free as possible. But I don’t know if it’s 100 percent, 99 percent. They’ll tell me when he’s ready.”

L.A. started LeBron James, Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma and McGee in a 128-99 victory over the Cavaliers.

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Kyrie Irving returns, leads Nets past Hawks

The Brooklyn Nets will take whatever they can get after seeing how much a healthy Irving means to them.

The point guard scored 21 points in 20 minutes in his return from an injured right shoulder, leading the Nets to a 108-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Irving made a career-best 90.9 percent of his shots after missing 26 games with an impingement. The shoulder looked fine and his handle looked as good as ever while he dribbled his way around a hopeless Atlanta defense.

Energized by his return that still seemed a ways away just a week ago, the Nets led by 39 points and won their second straight after dropping seven in a row.

“We had a certain confidence about us tonight that I think we were missing during that streak,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “So great, great timing having him back.” Cam Reddish scored 20 points for the Hawks, who played without star guard Trae Young due to a left hamstring injury and lost their fourth straight.

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The Nets made it such an easy night that their fans didn’t need to worry about the scoreboard as they roared for Vince Carter’s two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

The 42-year-old former Nets star ended with eight points in his final road appearance versus the franchise.

“Obviously to come back here, and some of the other stops I’ve played for, and just kind of to receive a standing O for one last time is just great,” Carter said.

Irving started feeling pain in his shoulder early in the season, and he took himself out of the lineup after a game in Denver on Nov. 14. The Nets held up well without him for a while thanks mostly to Spencer Dinwiddie’s strong play, but had faltered recently, especially in crunch time.

Irving got a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 and returned to full practice this week, just in time to return on his sister’s birthday.

“It’s not really a surprise for me,” Irving said of his performance. “I put in the work and when I do that I feel like the results will come.”

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Nets´ Irving hopes to return within a week

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has hopes of being back on the court before 2020 gets too far along.

Irving has been out of the lineup for nearly two months because of a right shoulder issue. However, he told reporters Thursday he expects to be re-evaluated next week. Just being cleared to play is a big step to Irving.

“We just see where we end up in the next few days,” Irving said. “Realistically, we will re-evaluate tomorrow. See how I feel tomorrow. Then go Saturday — probably another practice.”

There is no exact date for his return, but Irving said Thursday he’s assigned himself a deadline of one week.

“Hopefully I get some game reps in addition to practice probably in the next week or so, it could be less than that but I’ll give myself a week.”

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Irving was able to fully participate in practices for the first time on Thursday, which included him going through some 5-on-5 contact drills, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reports. He said that a week and a half ago, he started to do 2-on-2 work with coaches as he slowly started ramping up his workload. 

When asked if there are any limitations about what he’s able to do, he said he has none “other than just keeping my shoulder maintenance program going before I get on the floor.”

Irving has played in just 11 games this season, averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists.

In the latest NBA All-Star Voting returns, Irving ranks second in the Eastern Conference among guards with 1,351,997 votes. He saw nothing wrong with him being so up in the voting tallies despite playing in so few games.

“I put a lot of work in this league to be up there whether I’m playing or not,” Irving said. “If it’s an All-Star Game, then I would vote for myself as well.”

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Anthony Davis leaves with lower back injury after scary fall

Anthony Davis exits the Los Angeles Lakers’ game versus the New York Knicks in the third quarter Tuesday night after he bruised his lower back in a painful fall to the court.

Davis was injured when he fell awkwardly while trying to block the shot of New York’s Julius Randle. Davis pounded the court in obvious pain after his hard landing, and then clutched his backside while he stayed down on the floor, surrounded by Lakers medical personnel for several minutes in front of a hushed crowd at Staples Center.

Davis eventually rose with help from his teammates, and he walked to the Lakers’ dressing room slowly, but under his own power. After the initial shock of the fall wore off, Davis was able to walk more in the player tunnel but was ultimately carted out of the arena at the end of the night to undergo further testing.

Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, emerged from the Lakers’ locker room after the injury and stated X-rays on Davis’ back were negative, but the superstar is feeling sore.

The Lakers described the injury as a bruised sacrum — the lower part of the spine near the tailbone.

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“We hope that he’ll be fine, which we believe he’ll be fine,”LeBron James said. “Tough night for us.”

The Lakers led 81-62 with 2:45 left in the third quarter when Davis took his tumble. They went on to win 117-87, extending their streak to six games and improving their overall record to 30-7.

“I thought they locked back in,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of how his team responded to one of its stars going down. “Got focused and finished the job.”

When players came backx to the locker room after the final buzzer, Davis was in there waiting for them.

“He was great,” James said of the encounter. “His mood was great. As great as it can be with the fall that he took … I asked him if I could do anything for him, he said you got to win for me. That’s what our team is all about.”

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Clippers Patrick Beverley to miss some games

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley is “expected to miss a few games” with a right wrist sprain, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beverley suffered the injury during Saturday’s game versus the Utah Jazz. According to ESPN, X-rays did not reveal a break.

The 31-year-old Beverley is averaging 8.0 points, 3.3 assists and 6.0 rebounds for the Clippers. He has knocked down 41.3 percent of his field goals and 32.8 percent of his three-pointers.

Beverley’s calling cards are his tenacious defense and toughness, and those traits have helped the 23-11 Clips earn their third-place Western Conference mark.

The eight-year veteran out of Arkansas joined the Clippers after the Houston Rockets traded him following five years with the team.

His 2017-18 season started with promise, but he underwent an arthroscopic lateral meniscus repair and a microfracture procedure on his right knee and missed all but 11 matches in 2017-18.

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He returned in 2018-19 and played a big role on a gritty Clippers team that surprised fans post-Lob City Era and ended 48-34 with a playoff berth. L.A. even took the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors to six games in the first round.

Beverley received a three-year, $40 million contract during the offseason and returned to his starting point guard role now flanked by two newly signed superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Injuries have hindered him this season, unfortunately, with a calf injury, a concussion and a groin injury already costing him five games.

The Clips have gone in a few different directions when pressed to find a substitute for him in the starting lineup. 

Sixth man Lou Williams has started at the point for a few games, but head coach Doc Rivers has also opted to keep Sweet Lou in a reserve role and turn to Landry Shamet or Terance Mann instead.

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RB Chris Carson´s hip injury might end his season

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson suffered a hip injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s game versus the Arizona Cardinals, and his playing status for the rest of the season is now in jeopardy.

After the 27-13 loss, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed Carson will miss Week 17’s pivotal clash versus the San Francisco 49ers. Carson underwent additional testing, and team doctors informed Carroll the injury appeared to be season-ending, per ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Carson had eight carries for 40 yards before exiting. 

Carson took over as the starting running back in 2018 and proceeded to run for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games. He ended 12th in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) among running backs with at least 100 carries, per Football Outsiders.

Through 14 matches in 2019, Carson had 1,190 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

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Outside of selecting DK Metcalf in the second round of the draft, the Seahawks did little to upgrade the offense, largely due to the fact they didn’t have much salary-cap space with which to make significant additions.

Seattle also lost Mike Davis, the team’s second-leading rusher during last season, after he signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Chicago Bears.

Carson’s injury comes two weeks after Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending torn ACL.

C.J. Prosise injured his arm Sunday night as well and will miss Week 17, leaving rookie Travis Homer as the last active option. 

Carroll was asked how the Seahawks will rally, given all the attrition.

“We are going to figure out a way,” he said. “We are going to use all of the same tools that we use all the time mentally to make sure we can be disciplined about it and turn the focus on the next challenge. Our guys do a remarkable job of doing that. So people who question their ability to do it can’t believe when we do it. We’ll try to show you and prove it.

“The 49ers look awesome. They’re playing great football. They had a great win last week. It will be as great of a test as we could play. I’m disappointed we didn’t go into [the 49ers game] with momentum, but we’re going to re-create it here during the week.”

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Anthony Davis sits in Lakers loss to Pacers with ankle sprain

Even without Victor Oladipo, the Indiana Pacers continue to impress.

Indiana extended its winning streak to four games with a 105-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers are now 19-9 after Domantas Sabonis led the way in the first of two matchups with the Purple and Gold this season.

An acrobatic finish by Malcolm Brogdon gave Indiana the lead with 36 seconds remaining, and LeBron James missed a potential go-ahead three on the ensuing possession. Rajon Rondo still had an opportunity to tie it at the buzzer, but his three-pointer rimmed out.

Fortunately for the Lakers, they are still sitting atop the Western Conference at 24-4 even though their seven-game winning streak came to an end with Anthony Davis sidelined by an ankle injury.

The Pacers deserve plenty of credit for remaining among the Eastern Conference contenders without their best player, and they have done so with a balanced scoring attack and stout defense.

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Five different players are averaging double figures in the scoring department, and Indiana is fifth in the league in defensive rating, per NBA.com.

That balanced attack was on display again Tuesday with six players in double figures, but Sabonis was the best player on the floor for extended stretches.

He extended his game beyond the arc, showed off soft touch on mid-range jumpers, spun free of defenders on the blocks and took full advantage of Davis’ absence with multiple thunderous jams.

Though there are far worse situations than relying on James to carry more of the load on a given night, that is where the Lakers found themselves Tuesday with Davis sidelined.

Davis is an MVP candidate, the anchor of Los Angeles’ defense and James’ best pick-and-roll partner. But the King has done a little bit of everything this season even though he turns 35 years old this month.

He tallied a double-double in his previous four games and entered play averaging a career-high and league-leading 10.7 assists.

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Eagles lose WR Alshon Jeffery for season due to foot injury

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will miss the rest of the season with what coach Doug Pederson called a “significant” foot injury, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

NFL Network first reported that Jeffery would miss the rest of the season.

Jeffery was taken to the locker room on a cart during the second quarter of Monday’s 23-17 victory over the New York Giants. He was not contacted on the play, but left the field limping before throwing his helmet down and entering the medical tent. He then sat in the front seat of a cart that headed down the tunnel.

The injury left Carson Wentz with just two active receivers for the rest of the game: JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. With Nelson Agholor still dealing with a knee injury, the Eagles are expected to make a move at receiver in the near future.

They have three receivers on their practice squad, including Marken Michel, the brother of Sony Michel who had a strong offseason for the Eagles.

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This late in the season it’s difficult to bring in somebody from outside who hasn’t been in this offense either in training camp or during the season.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we have to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today and try to get something in place here pretty quick. We’re back on the field (Tuesday).”

Jeffery finished the season with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns. Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson, meanwhile, is week-to-week with an ankle injury, Pederson said. 

Halapoulivaati Vaitai substituted him at right tackle Monday and appears to be the leading candidate for the job moving forward.

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49ers C Weston Richburg out for year

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a big blow on Sunday when center Weston Richburg left in the third quarter of their victory over the New Orleans Saints with a leg injury.

Test results on Monday confirmed bad news. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Richburg suffered a torn patella tendon and will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

The 49ers are also looking at key defensive players missing time for the stretch run of the season.

While it sounds like Sherman and Ford could be back for the playoffs — especially if the 49ers earn a first-round bye — losing Richburg is a setback for the league’s fourth-ranked offense and second-ranked running game. But a bye is no guarantee with games versus the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams and a key Week 17 clash with the Seattle Seahawks that could determine the NFC West champion remaining.

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Richburgh, meanwhile, will need surgery and rehab before he returns.

A six-year NFL veteran, Richburg has anchored San Francisco’s interior line for two seasons.

Ben Garland finished Sunday’s game in place of Richburg and is expected to take over at center in his place.

Garland took first-team reps during training camp as Richburg recovered from offseason surgery. He drew positive reviews from his teammates on Sunday, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers had 339 total yards to the Saints’ 265 at the time of Richburg’s injury, but they trailed 30-28. 

Center Weston Richburg was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee and ankle. Richburg’s right leg got caught on guard Mike Person’s left leg, causing the center’s leg to awkwardly bend as he went to the ground.  The 49ers signed Richburg to a five-year contract in March 2018. 

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