NBA Rumors: Latest Word on Player Injuries and Return Dates

Bradlee Ross@rossbeCorrespondent IIOctober 1, 2012

NBA Rumors: Latest Word on Player Injuries and Return Dates

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    There is a common enemy among NBA teams besides each other that is known simply as the “injury bug.” This disease can affect a team or player or both, and it can ruin seasons and even careers. There are a number of players suffering from it heading into the 2012-13 NBA season.

    The 2012 offseason has seen injured players of every skill level and variety. Whether they are foreign players or American ones, they are susceptible to injuries. The same is true for older veterans on their way out of the game, young players on the verge of superstardom or established superstars trying to build Hall-of-Fame-worthy careers.

    The 2012-13 season will begin with players of all these varieties battling injuries. Here, we will give you the latest updates on the biggest names as far as how their injury is progressing and when they will be able to step back out on the court.

    So do your stretches, eat your fruits and veggies, get hydrated and read on.

Chris Kaman

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    Chris Kaman has not been with the Dallas Mavericks long, and it is unfortunate that he will have to begin his tenure there with an injury. Luckily for him, the injury does not appear to be too serious.

    According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, Kaman sprained his lower back during the Mavericks’ first preseason practice on Sept. 29. The injury is not considered a serious one, but it was enough to keep him out of a large part of their practice.

    While it does look like Kaman would be able to be ready for Dallas’ season opener, there is some cause for concern based on Kaman’s history. The center has missed 69 games over the past two seasons due to injury and has struggled with similar issues before that stretch as well.

Chauncey Billups

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    Chauncey Billups has become one of the most respected veterans in the NBA over the past decade. It appears that we will not get to enjoy his play as soon as we would have liked to.

    According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Billups stated that him playing in the Clippers’ season opener is definitely “not going to happen.” He went on to say that he expects to take part in limited drills right now and be playing sometime in December.

    While this certainly cannot be construed as good news for the Clippers, it is certainly better than what happened to them last season.

    Losing Billups for their playoff run and postseason was far more detrimental than losing him for the first month of the season will be. Hopefully, he can stay healthy once he gets out there.

Ricky Rubio

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    It could be argued pretty successfully that Ricky Rubio’s season-ending knee injury kept the Minnesota Timberwolves from making the 2012 playoffs. Unfortunately for T-Wolves fans, Rubio will not be back soon.

    According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, Rubio is hoping to be ready by Christmastime:


    Ricky says he hopes to play sometime in December, but it might be January. Says he's taking it step by step

    — Jerry Zgoda(@JerryZgoda) September 27, 2012


    Regardless of when it is, Minnesota needs Rubio back as soon as possible. He is the most important player on the team not named Kevin Love, and they need him if they are going to continue to improve and become a playoff team.

John Wall

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    After the moves made in the offseason, the Washington Wizards looked like they could be a potential playoff team. Hopefully, this recent news does not prevent that from happening.

    Per, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld has announced that Wall will be out eight weeks after suffering a stress injury to his left patella. The young point guard will begin rehab immediately and will not need surgery.

    Luckily for Wizards fans, this injury will likely only keep Wall out through November, assuming that everything goes according to plan. They better hope everything does, because, without Wall, this potential playoff contender will get nowhere near fulfilling its potential.

Blake Griffin

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    While Clippers’ fans may be mourning the continued loss of Chauncey Billups, there is a much bigger positive for them on the injury front. Blake Griffin is ready to go.

    Griffin stated that he is 100 percent after having surgery in July on his left knee, per Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. There are no restrictions on Griffin at this point, and he is cleared for all regular basketball activity.

    This is massive news for the Clippers and their fanbase. While I believe that Chris Paul is the leader of the team, Blake Griffin is certainly the motor of it.

    While they would not be terrible without him, his big-play abilities make them a contender, and they will have those abilities immediately once the season starts.

Derrick Rose

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    There have been few recent updates on Derrick Rose’s injury. The superstar point guard suffered a torn ACL during the first round of the 2012 playoffs and is not expected back until at least the 2013 All-Star Break.

    According to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, Rose is improving:


    Rose: "recovery has been good". He's starting to shoot. Sees improvement every week.

    — Nick Friedell (@ESPNChiBulls) September 13, 2012


    That update was a relatively long time ago on Sept. 13, but the lack of updates is a good thing given that every update before that was a positive one.

    While losing Rose for half the season is terrible for the Chicago Bulls, they will at least have him for the last half of the season and the playoffs.

Dwight Howard

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    The Los Angeles Lakers gave up a lot to get center Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, and the NBA fanbase is more than eager to see just what kind of return they will get on that investment. It is looking as though we will not have to wait as long as we has previously thought to get that look.

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Howard’s back is at about 85 percent, and the superstar center is targeting the season opener on Oct. 30 as his Lakers debut. Howard has reportedly made great progress recently, but he has yet to be cleared by a doctor for full training-camp activities.

    This news is just another indication of the fact that Howard is happy in Los Angeles. You can bet the farm that, had Howard not been traded and was still in Orlando, he would not be making the same progress on returning to the court.

    It is amazing what a change of scenery can do for a man.