Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Tags Posts tagged with "Injury"

Injury

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Image: Scott Halleran | Getty Images

Kobe Byrant and Steve Nash have had quite the tumultuous injury-filled season to say the least.  Bryant has been out since December with his fractured knee and Nash attempted to return a couple weeks ago but has since found his way off the court again due to chronic nerve and back pain.

“The doctors haven’t cleared Kobe so it’s a non-issue right now,” D’Antoni said. “The thing is, does he get back and play some games to get his rhythm back for next year or just wait? So I don’t know.”

D’Antoni was asked whether he sees a benefit from Bryant playing again this season.

“Not really,” he said, adding quickly. “That’s not on me. That’s something that they’ve got to figure out.”

His prognosis on Nash was just as bleak if not worse.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” D’Antoni said. “What’s the endgame? We’ve talked about it. He’s not completely healthy. We have 23 games left. We’re not going to make the playoffs. So what’s his objective in taking minutes away from the young guys that we’re trying to develop?

“Now, if Steve starts to feel better, then we’ll see. It’s always an ongoing process in talking to him, but it’s not something that’s on the horizon right now.”

Nash has made it clear that the thought of retirement has entered his mind, but that hasn’t changed the fact that he wants to return next season for his final season under contract.

“I want to come back for sure,” Nash said. “You never know what the case is in a month or a week or two weeks, physically, from a club standpoint, from my standpoint. You’re looking at potentially the last few months of my career. I didn’t want to just let that slide by without getting back on the court, so it motivated me. But who knows now?”

The Lakers could decide by Sept. 1 to use the stretch provision on Nash which means the Lakers would waive him and pay off his salary over the next three seasons, thus diminishing his salary’s cap hit on the coming years.

Its unfortunate to see these all-time greats pressed to the pine for so long, but at this point it’s almost a liability for the Lakers to have them back out on the court.  With this team not making the playoffs, and no reason to attempt to play better this season, the two guards are better off resting up and watching from the bench as this season smolders away.

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Steve Blake

Terrible news out of Laker land this morning as the Lakers announced that Steve Blake will be out a minimum of six weeks with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

This is a crucial blow to the already injury-decimated Lakers as they currently have no healthy point guards.  Blake joins Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar on the injured list.

Blake has stepped up his game since Nash went down earlier in the season, averaging 9.8 points and 7.7 assists in 31 minutes per game this season.  He has played a big part in keeping the team afloat as they waited for the return of Kobe Bryant.

Blake said today that he will not have surgery but will instead get Platalet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy on his elbow.

The Lakers have an open roster spot, so it is more than likely that they will add someone in the near future. An interesting name to keep an eye on is Leandro Barbosa, who is playing in Brazil with Club Pinheiros and has fully recovered from his leg injury. He knows Mike D’Antoni’s system from Phoenix and seems like a logical choice.

It should be noted that Barbosa has an out-clause in his contract that will allow him to return to the NBA.

In the meantime, D’Antoni says Kobe and Jodie Meeks will be the starters.  Kobe will be the primary ball handler in the offense until other options are brought it.

We here at Laker Nation wish Steve Blake a fast and speedy recovery!

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Courtesy: Getty Images

Tough news for the Lakers today as it was announced that Jordan Farmar‘s hamstring injury is more severe than originally expected:

Farmar has averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.4 apg in 18 games this season.  With Nash already out, this injury will affect the point guard situation as Steve Blake is the lone point guard on the roster.  With Kobe Bryant’s return on the horizon, he will help the burden of ball handling duties as he has done throughout his career but it remains to be seen how much the Lakers want Kobe to burden as he returns from the Achilles injury.

The injury happened in Sunday night’s game versus the Portland Trailblazers as Farmar was running down court but pulled up grabbing the hamstring and immediately asked to be taken out of the game.

In related injury news, Pau Gasol also had an MRI this morning on his troublesome right ankle:

It has not been said if Gasol will miss any time, but since the results are seen to be minor, do not be surprised to see Gasol on the court Friday in Sacramento versus the Kings.

Also, Steve Blake has been dealing with a hyper-extended right elbow:

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Photo Credit: AP Photo

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has begun practicing with the team, has been cleared for all basketball related activities, and has stated that he hopes to return before the month of November ends. While the news certainly sparked hope and anxiousness from Lakers fans worldwide awaiting his return, they will have to keep calm as Bryant will not be returning by this weekend.

According to Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant is still evaluating his limitations to decide when is the appropriate time for his return.

“You’ve got to be honest with yourself, and if you have those limitations, then you’ve got to figure out a way to be effective around those,” Bryant told reporters at the Lakers practice facility Tuesday. “You can’t be stubborn about that. If there are certain things that I used to do that I can’t do now, I won’t try to do them. I’ve got to figure out another way.”

Bryant has been ruled out of Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said, and league sources say that he’s ruled out the possibility of returning against Sacramento on Sunday in the Staples Center.

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Bryant is certainly one of the rarest of them all. He has surpassed basketball norms to still be one of the best players in the league today. Judging by the class of 1996 alone,  none are playing to the level Bryant is capable of at this age. Steve Nash, Jermaine O’Neal, and Ray Allen are the few still relevant from the class. It is even a miracle that Bryant is still playing,  let alone returning from an injury as serious as a snapped Achilles. All the while, he could be one of the top 5 players in the league when at 100%.

At this stage in his career, Bryant is right to calculate when it is best for him to return from an injury this severe. He does not have much time left and he will be sure that every minute he plays will not be one wasted, but one to prove how rare and valuable he is.

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Photo Credit: LA Times
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Looking at the Lakers this season in comparison to last year something that stands out is injuries. The Lakers had a number of players out for a great deal of the year during the 2012-2013 season and because of it they were never really were able to become comfortable with one another on the floor. Injuries were just one of the many problems from last year, but to keep a long story short we will keep last year where it is; in the past.

This year, while injuries have played another key role (ie. Kobe Bryant), they have played a more significant role than previously believed with former all-star and 2-time MVP point guard Steve Nash. During the summer, Nash told media that he felt great recovering from last season and preparing for this one as he tried out for Inter Milan.

As of right now via sports journalist Peter Vecsey, Nash is considering retirement due to the severity of the injury and the nerve problems he is experiencing:

If Steve were to medically retire he would receive his contractual payment for this year and next year and he would come off the books for the Lakers next season. While monetarily this would be a good move to increase the amount the Lakers could spend during the off-season it is a major cause for concern considering Nash is a key piece of the Lakers big three.

Again, last season Nash did deal with a serious injury suffering a non-displaced fracture in his left leg that originally was going to sideline him for a week. Nash ultimately did not return to the floor for almost seven. Even after returning Nash flashed glimpses of the Steve Nash we all have come to know but never really was able to recapture his old form.

Coming back to this current season, Nash is still suffering lingering effects from that dis-placed fracture. The nerve problems he is having from this injury have caused nerve root irritation that was reportedly, thanks to USA sports’ Sam Amick, going to keep him out for two weeks.

With this news from Peter Vecsey,whatever current plans the Lakers had may be thrown out of the window. At this point, they will ultimately need to decide on what to do in the case Nash does medically retire and leave a shorthanded roster in even worse shape than it currently is.

What do you believe the Lakers should do with this new knowledge? Should they trade Nash, allow him to retire, sign another you point guard? Do you believe this injury will force him into retirement? Sound off below and I will be sure to reply!

UPDATE

Via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, the Lakers have become adamant in their saying that Steve Nash is not considering retirement. Coach Mike D’Antoni took the stand for Nash saying that he is here for the long haul.

“He’s looking at, ‘What am I going to do when I’m 50?’ But no, he’s going to try and do everything he can to come back,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Whether he can get over this, we’ll see. We think he can. We hope he can. But there’s no talk of him sitting over there eating bon bons the rest of the way.”

A close source to Steve used the word “premature” in relation to discussion of Nash retiring because of the injury. While the tweet from Vecsey caused a stir among those within the basketball community D’Antoni again reassured everyone saying he has spent time recently with Steve.

“Steve and I have been extremely close through this process,” Bryant said. “We’re just talking, and particularly the last few games, we’ve been talking and watching the game and talking about the game and other things. I understand the frustration that comes along with that.”

While it has been cleared up that Steve is not considering retirement it still does open an interesting discussion in what the Lakers should do with their aging lead guard. Nash, who will be 40 in February, is far beyond the average age of the point guard in the NBA today. While no final decisions need to be made yet, a discussion sure does need to begin.

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Lost in yesterday’s Michael Beasley hoopla, ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin mentioned a small piece of bad news for the Lakers pertaining to their 2013 second round pick, Ryan Kelly:

“The Lakers drafted Ryan Kelly in the second round primarily for his ability to stretch the floor with his long-range accuracy, but the team has been discouraged by the rookie’s progress during the summer, according to multiple league sources. The Lakers doubt that Kelly, who missed summer league while recovering from multiple foot procedures, will be ready for the start of training camp.”

With this news coming out about Kelly, it makes sense as to why the Lakers went out and signed forward Shawne Williams, another player that can spread the floor in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

It’s certainly disappointing news about the 6’11 power forward out of Duke.  There was a sense of hope that Kelly could play a crucial role off the bench as a stretch four but with concerns about his foot, it’s tough to see him missing his first camp and still being on the roster come opening night.  A D-League stint is a realistic possibility to start the season, which could certainly extend to the entire year.

Excluding Kelly from the mix, the Lakers will have two spots open heading into camp if they decide to go with a 15 man roster.  Some sources close to the Lakers have indicated they could go with a 14 man roster instead.

 

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PhotoCredit:NBA.com
PhotoCredit: Harry How:Getty Images
PhotoCredit: Harry How:Getty Images

Well Nation, it has been five weeks as of yesterday that our all star forward went down with a tear to his plantar fascia on his right foot.  The initial injury report said he’d be out 6-8 weeks and it’s looking like he’s going to return at the early end of that timetable.  According to Kevin Ding Gasol was about 2 weeks from returning four days ago on March 9, this via BleacherReport.com.

The Lakers’ plan is for Gasol to ramp up his running gradually, and barring any setbacks, he should be running on the court next week. The plan does not include him beginning basketball activities yet, however, so he is unlikely to return to game action until at least two weeks passes.

This is great news for the Lakers as I believe Pau’s return could greatly bolster the starting lineup.  With Howard playing with a renewed dominance, Kobe throwing

PhotoCredit:Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
PhotoCredit:Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

it back to 2000, and an overall electric surge to the Lakers chemistry, a healthy Pau Gasol can only help this Lakers roster.  According to the report it appears that Gasol should return on March 25 at Golden State.  Definitely a game where the Lakers could use the length of the seven foot Spaniard to combat the likes of David Lee and Andrew Bogut.  However that is just an estimate and he could come back sooner or later than that date.

These tweets are bits of good news from Pau and give fans a glimpse of when he can possibly return to game action.  It’s safe to say Pau has been struggling this season under Mike D’Antoni’s style of offense and has had his worst statistical season of his 12 year career.  However, the nine previous games before he went down with his injury he had been playing some of the basketball long time fans of Pau had come to expect.  Averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in those nine games while shooting 55% from the field.  Let’s hope those numbers can continue once he comes back and he can play at the high level he is clearly capable of.

The biggest question though, isn’t when he will come back, but how he will come back.  How will he affect the offense? The defense? Will he mesh with D’Antoni’s style of play again, or flounder and end up coming off the bench once again?

PhotoCredit: Ron Jenkins/MCT
PhotoCredit: Ron Jenkins/MCT

I believe Pau won’t be an immediate factor to the team.  It’ll take him a bit of time to shake that rust he’s accumulated over the past six weeks and once he rids himself of that he should return to form.  The Lakers need Pau to be as great as he can be, they need him to dominate in the low post, grab rebounds and push the opposition out of the paint.  If Pau can accomplish that, the Lakers will be a significantly better team for it.

It sounds like Pau is going to return right as the playoff push is in full swing, and his performance should rocket the Los Angeles Lakers into the 6th seed of the Western Conference playoff picture.  That’s right, I said it, the 6th seed. Let’s go.

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Former number two overall NBA draft pick Michael Beasley worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers for a second time Wednesday.