The 2012-2013 NBA season kicks off tonight but there there are some notable injuries around the league that leave some teams preparing without star players.
Some will be able to come back shortly after a little rest while others have a while to go before they can get back to the court.
Kobe Bryant risks missing the first game of the season due to an injured foot sustained in the preseason against the Sacramento Kings. Bryant will be a game-time decision but is not expect to play the first game.
His recovery seems to be going well, though (from Bryant's Facebok):
Getting stronger. Not sure what it means for tomorrow night just yet but it's much better than it was a week ago when I could barely walk. I hate not practicing. It drives me crazy! The training staff has been great. Mr. Laker, Gary Vitti, and the great Judy Seto (the first female trainer in the NBA) have been working their magic.
Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio
The Minnesota Timberwolves power forward broke his hand this month doing push-ups on his bare knuckles. Love is expected to be out until mid-December, which is devastating news for a Timberwolves team on the rise.
The Timberwolves will also be without the services of the fast playmaker Ricky Rubio as he tore the ACL in his left knee. Rubio is expected to be out until December.
Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said that it's something the organization has to deal with (via USA Today):
There are some teams that can sustain it when that guy's out. You hope it doesn't happen to your team, but unfortunately for us, it did.
Point guard Derrick Rose is one of the biggest names to drop out this season and a devastating blow for the Chicago Bulls. ESPN reports that Rose will be out for at least three months with a torn ACL in his left knee.
He sustained the injury last year in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers in what can be called a freak accident.
Regardless, Chicago will be without their best player for most of the season.
ESPN reports star forward Dirk Nowitzki is expected to miss at least a couple weeks of the season for the Dallas Mavericks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee.
This is another significant loss for the Mavericks as they scramble to replace the big man in the middle.
New York Knicks big man Amar'e Stoudemire might be out for much longer than expected with a knee injury.
Some media are reporting that Stoudemire could be out for six weeks, which would be a blow to the Knicks and fans.
NBA.com reports Washington Wizards guard John Wall is expected to miss the first month of the season with early stages of stress to his knee.
Being the Wizards' best player, Wall will be pressured to come back sooner rather than later. If anything, the Wizards playoff hopes depend on him.