Injuries are part of every sport, but a bunch of NBA players have spent much more time on the bench than they would like this season. Fortunately, a few of them will be returning to action soon.
Teams have now played more than one quarter of the season. At this point, we have a pretty good idea of the talent level of most squads. However, things could change dramatically when the roster finally get to full strength.
These players are certain to make an impact when they return, and here is the latest information on each injury.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets
The New Orleans Hornets signed the young guard to a max contract, but Eric Gordon is still yet to step on the floor this season. In fact, he has only played in nine games in two seasons with the team.
The good news is that this time on the bench should soon be coming to an end.
According to Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com, the big-time scorer returned to the court this week in practice and looked good.
Dell Demps said Eric Gordon, who is working out on the NOLA hardwood as we speak, has been cleared for full contact.— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) December 23, 2012
Monty on Eric Gordon today: "He looked pretty good attacking the basket and defending in his first practice. It looked pretty encouraging."— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) December 24, 2012
New Orleans has been one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, but the pieces are there to make a run when healthy. Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Ryan Anderson make a formidable trio that will be dangerous in the second half of the season.
Of course, Gordon has to make sure he takes care of himself to keep the team competitive.
Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
Although the original projection for Amar'e Stoudemire's return to the Knicks was supposed to be on Christmas Day, it is apparent that it will take a little longer.
According to coach Mike Woodson, he is unlikely to play in either of the next two games of the road trip. Still, the positive development is that it is not due to a setback.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported that the coach simply wanted the forward to get more acclimated to game speed. Woodson said on Saturday, "I’ll feel comfortable if he gets some practice time in. That’s just how I feel."
The Knicks have been outstanding without their All-NBA star. They currently have a 20-8 record, so there is no reason to rush Stoudemire back to the lineup.
Still, it will be nice to get a player with this amount of talent onto the court as they get into the middle of the season.
Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
It is easy to forget the type of impact that Wilson Chandler is capable of providing after two years of dealing with injuries.
The former New York Knicks guard has only played 12 games in the last two seasons with the Nuggets.
However, he is still only 25 years old and has a career average of 13.7 points per game. In addition, he has great size that will help this struggling team defensively when he returns.
According to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post, he could be returning soon.
Chandler's peculiar journey, which has taken him to China and under the knife, will finally take him back to the practice court. Denver expects forward Chandler, as well as backup point guard Julyan Stone, to return to practice in the first week of 2013.
Denver already has one of the most balanced teams in the NBA. Still, it never hurts to add an athletic player that can score in multiple ways. Denver will be in good shape when Chandler comes back to the rotation.