Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:01 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 9:56 pm

Kobe clears tests, will play Wednesday

By Matt Moore

UPDATE: Kobe will play Wednesday, wearing a mask.


Kobe Bryant may not miss any action after all. (Getty)
You knew Kobe Bryant would do everything in his power to make it back to the floor for Wednesday night's game against the Timberwolves. And early reports indicate that's exactly what's happening. As part of the NBA's new concussion policy, Bryant had to clear a series of neurological tests as well as a series of performance drills without suffering any lingering symptoms of the concussion he suffered from Dwyane Wade's foul during the All-Star Game last sunday. 
Kobe has passed all of the tests mandated thus far (neurological, bicycle, Axon and treadmill).
via Twitter / @LakersReporter: Kobe has passed all of the ....
Bottom line is that if Kobe passes the 2-on-2 hoops test now, & another w/neurologist pregame, he may well be able to play.
via Twitter / @LakersReporter: Bottom line is that if Kob ....

 The Lakers also indicated that Bryant has been symptom-free since yesterday afternoon when the specialist he saw advised an additonal MRI and a visit with the neurologist. Those are all positive signs. While Bryant will try and push through, the team and league will be very cautious with their approach considering the nature of the injury and the fact that his symptoms lasted more than 24 hours. But, you know Kobe...
If Bryant is cleared by the neurologist before the game, he WILL start and play against the Timberwolves.
via Twitter / @LakersReporter: If Bryant is cleared by th ....

We'll keep you updated on Bryant's status before gametime.
Posted on: February 20, 2012 3:58 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Derrick Rose returns vs. Hawks

By Matt Moore 

The Bulls announced Monday that Derrick Rose would return to the starting lineup Monday afternoon against the Atlanta Hawks. Rose has missed the past five games with back spasms. He saw a specialist for the condition and further examinations revealed no structural damage, but he was held out over the weekend regardless. 

Rose returns to a Bulls team who was good but inconsistent without Rose, demolishing the Celtics while struggling against the lowly Nets. Rose played heavy minutes through the beginnings of his injury, and it'll be interesting to see how many minutes coach Tom Thibodeau plays him coming off the injury.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:03 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 4:48 pm

Gallinari (ankle chip fracture) out 1 month

Danilo Gallinari suffered a chip fracture in his left ankle Monday. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver 

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari suffered an ankle injury in the first half against the Houston Rockets. An X-ray taken at the arena confirmed a chip fracture of his left ankle

An MRI conducted on Tuesday determined that the chip will sideline Gallinari for "at least a month," according to the Denver Post. The Nuggets released this statement.

CT and MRI today determined that the chip fracture was from a prior injury probably before professional career began. He will remain in a walking boot for 3 to 5 days. Treatment will be for a significant ankle sprain.

His status is undetermined at this time.

Losing Gallinari is devastating for a Nuggets team, despite theirdepth. They're already dealing with injuries to Nene, Arron Afflalo, and Timofey Mozgov, but Gallo has been the Nuggets' best overall player, performin at a near-All-Star level. Between injuries and a brutal schedule period, the Nuggets have lost five of their past six games.  

Without Gallinari, it means more time for Rudy Fernandez who also has had injury issues this season. The Nuggets had been one of the hottest teams in the league in the opening month, but injuries have taken their toll, damaging their biggest strength in depth.

Gallinari is averaging 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes per game this season with a 20.1 PER.

The No. 6 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft inked a 4-year, $42 million extension in January.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:04 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 7:11 pm

Bucks C Andrew Bogut (ankle) out indefinitely

Bogut sustained another ankle injury Wednesday night. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver

Update (7:05 p.m.): The MIlwaukee Bucks announced on Thursday that starting center Andrew Bogut underwent an MRI on his left ankle, which revealed a fracture that is going to keep him out "indefinitely." The Journal Times reports that "indefinitely" means that Bogut will miss at least two weeks.

Bogut is averaging 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 blocks per game this season. The Bucks are currently 7-10 on the season.

Original Post:

In another in a continuing theme this week, struggling teams who have started to put it together suffering significant injuries to their best player, Milwuakee Bucks center Andrew Bogut suffered yet another injury Wednesday night, and he's afraid how the diagnostic tests could wind up on this one. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
After the game, Bogut sat in front of his locker with a grimace on his face and a large black boot on his left foot.

"It wasn't good," Bogut said. "I knew when I came down I was in some trouble. Keeping optimistic, everything's fine with the X-ray, but that's to be expected. I know I didn't break a bone."

But tomorrow's the day of reckoning where I go under the MRI machine and find out my fate."

The best-case scenario would be a severely sprained ankle, but even that would be likely to sideline Bogut for a week or more.

"I'm not optimistic. With my history of unlucky injuries I'm hoping this one can do me a favor and go away. Most of my injuries are unfortunate things and this goes in the same boat as that. It's frustrating."
via Bogut fears worst with latest injury - JSOnline.

 That sound you hear is Bucks fans lining up at the booze counter to forget their troubles. 

Um, at least it wasn't a horrifying elbow injury that makes you wish you'd never see it ever? (Note: Do not click that link. Not safe for anyone, ever.)

Bogut's comments have to have you concerned. Any basketball player knows what a sprain feels like, they've had severe ones regularly, it's unavoidable. The fact that Bogut's talking about it being worse than that, despite the X-ray being negative, is just not a good sign at all. That implies ligament damage, and Bogut's had enough injuries (for ten men) to know how that feels.

Without him, the Bucks season implodes. They've just recently started winning, with some more efficiency from Brandon Jennings and better overall offense. But Bogut is the glue that holds it together. They can't really justify blowing the roster up, but it will be the fouth year where they don't know how good they would be if healthy. But keeeping it together seems like a waste of opportunity as well. Hopefully Bogut's feelings aren't in line with his injury and it's a minor problem. 

The watch begins.

(HT: SLAMOnline)
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:28 am

Andrea Bargnani back on the shelf

Bargnani re-injured is calf against the Jazz Wednesday. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

Andrea Bargnani had just gotten back on the court after a calf injury had kept him on the sidelines and crashed the Raptors' momentum. He scored a career high against the Suns Tuesday nights and followed that up by helping the Raps topple the Jazz on a back-to-back. But during that game, he also tweaked the same calf he had just healed. And this time? According to him, it's "much worse." 
Bargnani, who had been as dominant at times Wednesday as he had been in a brilliant return from injury on Tuesday, hobbled to the bench in the first overtime period, a forlorn look on his face and the left leg that had caused him to miss six games once again injured.

“We’ll see what the severity of it is — or if it’s severe — evaluate it and go from there,” coach Dwane Casey said of Bargnani’s injury.

Bargnani said it was “much worse” than the last time he hurt himself.
via Toronto Raptors win double-OT thriller, but Andrea Bargnani hurt again - thestar.com.

It's a huge blow for the Raptors who are now on a two-game winning streak. It's not just Bargnani's points. It's that he's defending at such a higher level, for the first time in his career. It ruins all the Raptors' momentum, kills Bargnani's razor-thin chances at an All-Star game appearance, and puts more pressure on a Raptors frontcourt that has been falling apart as of late. 

Ed Davis has been unable to put his considerable tools together in what was expected to be a breakout year for him, while Amir Johnson pretty much is what Amir Johnson pretty much is. Aaron Gray has been playing well next to Bargnani but can't do too much on his own. The Raptors could certainly use the help of rookie Jonas Valanciunas, still in Europe on the last year of his contract. 

Hopefully the injury won't keep him out as long as he seems to think it will. At least Raptors fans have something to look forward to, no matter how rocky the immediate future might get. 

Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:37 pm

Kobe Bryant taking pain shot every game

By Matt Moore

It's easy to criticize Kobe Bryant for his shooting so far this season. His shooting percentage is the lowest it has been since his rookie year. He's shot L.A. out of several games, but also dropped a brilliant performance on Tuesday against the Rockets. In total, though, it's been a really rough season for him on and off the court. But there is no question the guy is the toughest son of baller on the planet. The Orange County Register has a piece Thursday on the terrible toll the torn ligament in his wrist has had on the Black Mamba. It's not pretty:  
These days, over Bryant's right wrist also rests a fat postgame ice wrap roughly the size of rookie guard Andrew Goudelock, Bryant trying in vain to minimize swelling after acting on the court as if there isn't a torn ligament in there.

Bryant has been taking a numbing injection to that wrist before every game in hopes of performing normally. Yes, it's that bad.

He does not want to publicize all the details of his wrist, which is usable only because the bones were not moved permanently out of alignment without the ligament to hold them in place. But it's now clear just how problematic the wrist is, and it's fair to wonder where all this will take Bryant.

Bryant walked out of Staples Center on Tuesday night with something that looked like an oven mitten over his right hand and wrist. He wears an immobilizing brace over the wrist when off the court, meaning take-for-granted parts of life such as texting on his phone or zipping his fly become rather challenging.
via Wrist injections keeping Kobe’s drive alive | bryant, brown, wrist - Sports - The Orange County Register.
Dude can't zip his fly! And he's shooting on it! He's shooting in an NBA game without the ability to zip his fly. That's pretty much the craziest thing we've read about Bryant's devotion... this week. 

Beyond the impressive dedication, however, is the sobering reality that Bryant was looking forward to finally being healthy. His knee is better than it has been in years after an experimental procedure. His pinky was finally healed. And now the wrist looks like it may be a problem throughout the entire year. He can't rest it, he has to play on it. And as long as it's this bad, he's going to be amazing some nights, and really struggle the next. How he adapts to that reality will determine how far the Lakers go this year. 
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:38 am
Edited on: January 2, 2012 10:44 am

Steve Nash playing with bruised rib

By Matt Moore

Steve Nash is nursing a bruised rib he sustained against the New Orleans Hornets, which has affected his mobility and shot-making, according to the Arizona Republic.

Nash injured the rib in a collision with point guard Greivis Vasquez last week, and it's impacted him in just about every phase of the game. Nash is playing through it, but admits:
"It's like I'm holding my breath a lot," Nash said. "I'm tired a lot. I'm bracing. It's not fun.

"It's definitely affected my shot and mobility."
via Suns' Steve Nash nursing a bruised rib.

Shot-makng in particular has suffered, not just for Nash, but the entire Suns team, the Republic notes, as the Suns are shooting just 40.7 percent from the field. For an offense-mostly team, that's just not going to cut it.

The problems extend far from there, though. Marcin Gortat has been fine, but will never be a focal point of an offense. Grant Hill has too many miles on him to carry the load, and no other Sun has or can step up. It's really all on Nash, and the burden is literally too much for him.

The Suns are in freefall right now, and Nash can't grab on to anything to pull them back up because he has one hand on an injured rib.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 3:40 pm

Lopez' injury puts Dwight deal in more jeopardy

By Matt Moore

The New Jersey Nets announced Thursday that center Brook Lopez has a broken foot and will undergo surgery. His listed recovery time is 4-6 weeks, but the injury is also similar to the one that sidelined Mavs' guard Roddy Beaubois for months and which SI.com says doctors have said can take up to 4 months to heal. 

So no, this is not good news.

But as bad as it is for Lopez, it also has huge ramifications for the Nets and their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Lopez was the centerpiece of any trade to Orlando, giving the Magic a young center to at least take the sting off losing the league's best big man. At 4-6 weeks, there's time for Lopez to recover and get back on the floor to show himself still worth the Magic's investment (I'm sure that's No.1 on his list of priorities). But that assumes his surgery goes perfectly, his recovery is without flaw, and that his return has no issues.

At that point, the Nets may be one of the worst teams in the league. Howard will be staring at going to a team he'd have to claw out of the cellar alongside Deron Williams with, after having had to likely give up even more assets to account for the instability of Lopez' situation. While Howard would be looking at the big picture with regards to playing in Brooklyn the next six seasons, these superstars want to win now, every year, and don't want to risk missing the playoffs even a single season. The Magic would be then trading for a seven-foot center with a foot injury, which hasn't gone well in the history of the NBA. That damages the Nets' leverage in the package they'd have to give up, which would mean Howard would be giving his commitment to a team with nearly nothing on roster outside of Deron Williams.

Which isn't wholly different from what Carmelo Anthony did. But the Knicks were at least in playoff position at the time of the trade. Without Lopez, we see more of Johan Petro. The Nets' frontcourt, even with productive big man Kris Humphries, is going to be a near-disaster. Deron Williams is one of the top five point guards in the league, but there are limits to what even he can do.

Lopez meanwhile is faced with the balance of wanting to compete and do his job, wanting to get back on the floor as quickly as possible, and leveraging that against his long-term health. Throw in how the Nets have treated him for the past year, both in terms of his relationship with Avery Johnson and in his inecessant involvement in trade rumors, and Lopez will be rushing back from a serious injury to help a team that is clearly not invested in his future. Maybe he pushes himself just to get out of the situation, but it's not an unpleasant one, and that's before you deal with the mental and physical damage from undergoing this kind of injury process.

The Nets still have a chance at pulling off the trade which would set them up long-term in the future. But after making a huge gamble in trading for Deron Williams last season and surrendering nearly half their talent base, the Lopez injury makes the odds even worse. There's really only two ways this works out. The Nets pull of a miracle trade for Dwight Howard because he simply wants to play in Brooklyn that much, or they lose everything.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum looked spectacular in preseason play Wednesday night.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com