The All-Star break is coming. For many NBA teams and players, it can't come soon enough.
What most people see as an exhibition and some contests is valuable time off for most players. The rest, both physical and mental, is coming at a point where teams are trying to get through major injuries and fight off the effects of fatigue.
Just a year after a compressed schedule led to no real change in injury rates, there may be something of a hangover as players readjust to the grind of a six-month schedule. According to sources inside the game, injuries are up slightly over last year, but there's an anecdotal shift to resting more players as well.
It's this kind of counterintuitive effect that NBA medical staffs are having to deal with on the fly. Teams may have smaller rosters to deal with than their NFL and MLB counterparts, but there's still a limited staff and only so many hours in a day. The training rooms don't get less full just because the athletic trainers are stressed, tired and overworked.
Yet the NBA continues to do little in the way of research.
At some point, some team is going to have to take a harder look at prevention of injuries. (There are a couple, and their advantage is already showing.) There's certainly enough money being spent on much less important things to do a little more in the way of research.
I won't take a look at Derrick Rose's impending comeback, Andrea Bargnani's flu or LaMarcus Aldridge's...umm. Let's move on and take a look around the Association at 10 of the biggest, most impactful injuries.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.