NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Star Players' Health Heading into Preseason

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NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Star Players' Health Heading into Preseason
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Anticipation is building for the first full-length NBA season in two years.

The 2012-13 NBA season is sure to be one of the best in recent memory. After a summer of free-agent movement and the the addition of some exciting rookies, the Association has never had so much to offer.

Still, as the calendar flips from September to October, there are a number of NBA superstars who are recovering from big-time injuries that could impact how their teams fare this year.

Here's the latest buzz on the health of some of the league's star players heading into the preseason. 

 

Paul Pierce

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce is ready to begin his 15th NBA season this fall after a summer of rest and rejuvenation. 

After spraining his MCL in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Pierce found much-needed time to recover following the Celtics' defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat in the Easter Conference finals last June. 

This was Pierce on his health (via ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg):

I'm 100 percent now, but I think it was maybe Game 3 (against) Atlanta....It really limited me because it was like no treatment that I could have done at the time was going to get it better. It limited me as far as lateral movement and jumping ability. Not that I had a lot of jumping ability anyway. And there's times when you get up out of bed and it's really stiff, you've got to get on the bike to warm it up. It was definitely a mental grind at that point. I'm just happy that's behind me.

Pierce averaged 19.4 points per game last season. He'll turn 35 this October as the Celtics attempt to make another run at a championship with the superstar at their core. 

 

Amar'e Stoudemire

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The last time we heard from Amar'e Stoudemire, he was recovering from a dangerous cut to his hand after punching the glass casing that surrounds those arena fire extinguishers. Embarrassing, but scary stuff.

Good news for Knicks fans, though: The New York frontcourt star is in ideal shape coming into the preseason, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley:

He worked out intensively all summer and spent two weeks in Houston learning post moves from Hakeem Olajuwon.

STAT is coming off a season in which he averaged the lowest PPG (17.5) since his 2005-06 season (8.7). He played just three games that year while undergoing two microfracture knee surgeries.

New York fans are hoping that Stoudemire's time spent with The Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon) will pay off this season as the Knicks attempt to get past the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. 

 

John Wall

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Talented, young Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is expected to miss the first two months of the NBA season after it was discovered he has a stress injury in his left patella, according to The Washington Post's Michael Lee.

Here's Wall on the injury (via Lee):

It’s very tough for me, I’m going to go into the training room and try to get stronger, take my time and make sure I don’t rush back and force myself to come back anytime soon. Just prepare myself for whenever I get ready for the season.

The Wizards will certainly have to rally without their starting point guard on the floor for the first eight weeks of the season. Wall has averaged over 16 points and slightly more than eight assists per game over his first two NBA seasons.

Washington still has high hopes for 2012-13 after drafting former Florida star shooting guard Bradley Beal with its lottery pick last June. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more roundball discussion.

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