Home US SportsNBA NBA playoffs – Injury updates on Steph Curry, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis and more

NBA playoffs – Injury updates on Steph Curry, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis and more

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NBA playoffs – Injury updates on Steph Curry, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis and more

The NBA playoffs are lower than a month away and each conferences characteristic seeding races which can be positive to return all the way down to the wire. A number of high groups are lacking key gamers who may return in time for the playoffs and assist their groups’ postseason hopes.

The No. 5 Chicago Bulls and No. 6 Cleveland Cavaliers are separated by one recreation and lacking Lonzo Ball and Jarrett Allen, respectively. The Cavs are only one recreation forward of the Toronto Raptors and hoping to keep away from the play-in event.

The Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks are No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10 within the East, respectively, getting into Thursday’s video games, all separated by one recreation and every lacking key gamers. Will Ben Simmons make his Nets debut this season? Can Gordon Hayward return in time and assist LaMelo Ball make a playoff run?

Within the West, the struggling Golden State Warriors lastly acquired Draymond Green again from a two-month absence, solely to lose Stephen Curry. The Warriors are struggling to carry off the Utah Jazz, who’re simply three video games out of the No. 3 seed. The Denver Nuggets are only a recreation and a half above the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 6 seed, however may get some much-needed assist for Nikola Jokic within the coming weeks.

The Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans are locked in a race for home-court benefit in a possible play-in recreation, with each groups awaiting the returns of their stars. Can Anthony Davis assist LeBron James save the Lakers’ season? Will Zion Williamson lastly make his season debut?

This is the newest on the place injured gamers stand over the past week of March.

Japanese Convention

John Collins

Out since March 13 with a plantar fascia tear in his proper foot and a proper finger sprain

The Hawks introduced on March 17 that Collins can be reevaluated in 10-14 days following a nonsurgical process on his foot. Collins sat out seven video games whereas nursing the foot damage earlier than returning to the group on March 4. He performed 4 video games however clearly wasn’t himself, averaging simply 9.3 factors on 35.9% capturing — down from his season averages of 16.2 factors and 52.6%. Danilo Gallinari has crammed in admirably as a starter with Collins out of the lineup, however Atlanta may use Collins’ scoring punch because it fights for positioning within the Japanese Convention play-in race. — Andrew Lopez

Ben Simmons

Has not performed since June 20

Simmons has not performed this season after requesting a commerce out of Philadelphia final summer season. He was dealt to the Nets previous to final month’s commerce deadline, however nonetheless hasn’t been cleared to apply as he continues to take care of a herniated disc in his back. It stays to be seen if Simmons will play this season. Nets coach Steve Nash stays optimistic, however Simmons hasn’t been capable of do something on the ground in weeks. The Nets have performed a few of their finest basketball of the season just lately, successful six of their previous seven video games behind the ability of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Nets gamers and coaches proceed to say that Simmons is in good spirits. The Nets’ postseason hopes would profit from Simmons’ perimeter protection and the best way he can push the ball offensively, however there’s nonetheless no time set for his return. — Nick Friedell

Gordon Hayward

Out since Feb. 7 with a sprained left ankle

Hayward spoke to the media final week for the primary time since February and stated that the plan was to progress to contact this week and “see how it responds and kind of take it from there.” Charlotte is 26-22 when Hayward performs this season and 11-14 when he does not. For a younger, energetic group, Hayward’s steadiness, exact capturing — he is hitting 39% of his 3s — and talent to create alongside Ball give Charlotte a giant increase. If he can return earlier than the play-in event, he’ll make the Hornets a far harder group to eradicate. — Tim Bontemps

Lonzo Ball

Out since Jan. 14 with a left knee damage

Ball will likely be reevaluated on March 31 after the Bulls “pulled back” the rehab course of on his knee earlier this week as a result of he wasn’t responding correctly to the restoration program following arthroscopic knee surgical procedure in January. Ball will likely be shut down from working till at the least the top of the month, which places a return through the common season in jeopardy even when he begins to indicate enchancment by then. With out Ball, the Bulls have moved Alex Caruso into the beginning lineup and can rely on second-round pick Ayo Dosunmu off the bench to proceed to choose up the slack defensively. — Jamal Collier

Jarrett Allen

Out since March 6 with a fractured left center finger

Allen selected to not get surgical procedure on his injured finger and the hope is that he’ll be capable of return to the court docket for the Cavaliers earlier than the top of the common season. Allen has damaged out in a giant approach this season, forming one of many league’s finest inside defensive tandems alongside rookie Evan Mobley. He is helped the Cavaliers flip into one of many league’s finest tales this 12 months with their shocking bid for a playoff spot. Whether or not Cleveland is ready to stay within the high six within the East and keep away from the play-in event may very nicely come down as to if Allen is ready to return earlier than the playoffs. — Bontemps

Western Convention

Jamal Murray

Out since April 12 with a torn left ACL

Murray has been working his approach again and there’s a likelihood he might be despatched all the way down to the G League for a block of practices, however a return this season is up within the air. The Nuggets are going to take issues very gradual with their star guard, who will likely be a 12 months faraway from tearing his ACL when the play-in event begins. Nuggets coach Michael Malone informed reporters on Sunday that Murray is “not close” to taking part in in a recreation. Denver has 9 video games remaining within the common season and the Nuggets’ method has sometimes been to play issues secure with the well being of their high gamers and prospects. Jokic has carried the Nuggets, who path the Dallas Mavericks by two video games for the fifth spot within the West, however the Timberwolves are making a push for the sixth seed. — Ohm Youngmisuk

Michael Porter Jr.

Out since Nov. 6 with a decrease again damage

Porter underwent lumbar backbone surgical procedure on Dec. 1 and his agent, Mark Bartlestein, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski in late February that Porter was progressing towards a attainable return in March. Jokic has been sensational all season taking part in at an MVP degree once more, however Porter can be a giant increase for the Nuggets along with his 3-point capturing and rebounding. Denver goes to play it secure with their promising younger ahead, who has undergone three again procedures since November 2017, his freshman 12 months at Missouri. The Nuggets might be a title contender subsequent season with a wholesome trio of Jokic, Murray and Porter, so Denver will proceed with warning. — Youngmisuk

Stephen Curry

Out since March 16 with a left foot pressure

The Warriors will be without Curry for at the least one other week and a half as he recovers from a sprained ligament in his left foot. They’ve gained only one recreation since his damage. The Memphis Grizzlies handed the Warriors for the No. 2 seed in Inexperienced’s two-month absence and now the Utah Jazz are closing in with simply three video games to separate them. Third-year guard Jordan Poole, who began rather than Klay Thompson forward of his return, finds himself within the beginning lineup once more with Curry out. Poole has put up 29, 28, 26 and 30 factors previously 4 video games, respectively, and has scored at the least 20 factors per recreation since March 3. Curry, Thompson and Inexperienced have performed simply 11 minutes collectively this season and are working out of time to discover a rhythm collectively earlier than the playoffs. — Kendra Andrews

Kawhi Leonard

Out since June 14 with a torn proper ACL

Leonard suffered the damage within the second spherical of the 2021 playoffs towards the Jazz and has not performed since. He had surgical procedure on July 13, however the Clippers nonetheless wouldn’t have a timetable for his return. The Clippers are entrenched within the eighth spot within the West and on their approach to the play-in event. By all accounts, Leonard has been working exhausting and appears to be in fine condition, however the Clippers will likely be additional cautious with their franchise star. In the event that they make it out of the play-in event, nevertheless, and Paul George and Norman Powell additionally return, Leonard would simply want clearance from the medical employees to play once more. And that door has been left open. — Youngmisuk

Paul George

Out since Dec. 22 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his proper elbow

George opted to let his elbow heal with relaxation as an alternative of present process surgical procedure to depart the door open for a return, however no timetable has been set. It may have been a demise sentence for the Clippers’ season when the group introduced on Christmas Day that George can be out indefinitely with Leonard additionally out, however Tyronn Lue and the Clippers are headed for the play-in event, presently eighth within the West. Nonetheless, the Clippers may desperately use George’s offense. The star guard has made progress: George has been seen capturing along with his proper hand from brief to midrange and was cleared for minimal contact in 4-on-4 towards the Clippers coaches. There are solely three weeks left earlier than the play-in event and the Clippers will likely be cautious with George, however seeing him again on the court docket is a constructive signal. — Youngmisuk

Anthony Davis

Out since Feb. 16 with a proper mid-foot sprain

If all the pieces continues to progress nicely in Davis’ rehab, the All-Star huge man might be suiting up for video games by the primary week of April, on the earliest, sources informed ESPN. The Lakers have gone 18-7 previously two postseasons when Davis and James have been within the lineup and capable of end the sport. That is the stat that retains L.A.’s locker room believing, regardless of how troublesome this season has been. The Lakers struggled to regulate with out him at first, going 2-9 out of the All-Star break, however began to discover a combine that works by giving extra time to function gamers like Stanley Johnson, Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel to duplicate the defensive-minded presence that Davis offers, whereas letting James proceed to shoulder the offensive burden. If Davis can get again, there will not be a lot time to ramp issues up earlier than the play-in event, but when his fast return to high-level play coming off an MCL sprain in January is any indicator, a ramp up may not be wanted. — Dave McMenamin

Brandon Ingram

Out since March 8 with a strained right hamstring

Ingram remains to be listed as out, however the group is hopeful he can return on the upcoming three-game homestand. The Pelicans are 5-17 when Ingram sits this season, however three of these wins have come previously 5 video games because the group has been capable of lean on CJ McCollum. New Orleans has been a .500 group with Ingram this season (25-25) and likewise a .500 mark (5-5) with McCollum and Ingram collectively. Because the Pelicans battle the Lakers for the No. 9 spot and residential court docket for a play-in recreation, a wholesome Ingram will give New Orleans an added increase. — Lopez

Larry Nance Jr.

Out since Jan. 5 with a proper knee damage

Nance had surgery on Feb. 11 after being traded within the take care of the Portland Trail Blazers that additionally despatched McCollum to New Orleans. He has but to play for the Pelicans this season, however he has been upgraded to possible and the group expects him to make his debut Thursday. Nance has been capturing and leaping for a few weeks as he prepares to make his Pelicans debut. Nance may slot in at energy ahead subsequent to Jonas Valanciunas or Willy Hernangomez, or play alongside Jaxson Hayes, who the Pelicans have given beginning energy ahead minutes to. It is not out of the query to play Nance on the small ahead spot with Hayes and Valanciunas, both. He’ll give the Pelicans one other veteran presence as they make their last push. — Lopez

Zion Williamson

Has not performed all season with a fractured proper foot

There was no timetable given for a return to play, if Williamson returns in any respect this season after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his proper foot in offseason exercises. Williamson has had setbacks all year long and his return has been continually delayed. He returned to New Orleans earlier this month after spending almost two months rehabbing in Portland. He was seen Wednesday taking part in one-on-one with participant improvement coach Corey Brewer, elevating on his leap shot, going off the dribble and dunking a number of occasions. The Pelicans are a recreation behind the No. 9 Lakers, preventing for residence court docket in a possible play-in matchup. — Lopez

Chris Paul

Out since Feb. 16 with a fractured right thumb

Paul fractured his thumb within the last recreation earlier than the All-Star break, an damage that was anticipated to sideline him for six to eight weeks. He would possibly beat that timetable in making his return. He is been going by way of capturing drills for the previous two weeks and taking different steps towards getting again in recreation motion. The Suns, in the meantime, have not simply survived with out Paul. Phoenix has thrived because the All-Star break, going 11-4 in that span and stopping any group from remotely threatening the Suns within the combat for the NBA’s finest file. Paul’s absence might need even had a silver lining. The 36-year-old perennial All-Star level guard ought to have contemporary legs for the playoffs, which the Suns will enter as title favorites. — Tim MacMahon

Picture credit: John Bazemore/AP Photograph; Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE through Getty Pictures; Brian Westerholt/USA TODAY Sports activities; Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports activities; Carlos Osorio/AP Photograph; Ashley Landis/AP Photograph; Jeff Chiu/AP Photograph; Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports activities; Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports activities; Chuck Cook dinner/USA TODAY Sports activities; Chris Coduto/Getty Pictures

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