NBA

NBA injury updates: LeBron James, James Harden expected back Wed.; Donovan Mitchell done for regular season

The NBA regular season is rapidly coming to a close, with the start of postseason play just over one week away. Injury issues have played a major factor this season as a plethora of players have been forced to the sideline for an extended period of time with various ailments. While injuries occur every year and are part of the game, the frequency seems to be a bit higher this season. Some team personnel members around the league reportedly feel it’s a direct result of the compressed 2020-21 schedule, as the league wanted to fit in a whole 72-game schedule despite the season not starting until the end of December.

Whatever the reason, virtually every team in the league has had to deal with injury issues throughout the season, and while some stars have recently returned to action, others still remain sidelined. To keep you updated, here’s a running list of all the major injuries in the NBA, and how they are affecting teams and players moving forward. 

To see every team’s current injury situation, click here.  

James Harden has been out since April 7 with a hamstring injury, but with the postseason right around the corner, the former MVP is finally set to return. The Brooklyn Nets star guard is listed as probable for Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, so long as everything in pre-game warmups goes according to plan, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

LeBron James is expected to make his return Wednesday against the Houston Rockets after missing five straight games with a sore ankle. James returned to the court on April 30 following a 20-game absence due to a high-ankle sprain, but after playing in two games — the second of which he exited early — he went back on the injury list as he was dealing with soreness in the same ankle that caused him to miss significant time.

Donovan Mitchell will miss the final three games of the regular season for the Utah Jazz as he continues to receive treatment for the sprained ankle that has kept him out since April 16, the team announced on Tuesday. Fortunately for Utah, they’ll have a bit of a break between the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs. Their final game will be on Sunday, but thanks to the play-in round, their postseason will not begin until Saturday, May 22 at the earliest. 


Jaylen Brown

BOS •

SG •

7

Torn ligament in wrist — Out for remainder of season

PPG24.7

APG3.4

SPG1.24

3P/G2.81


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Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown is out for the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his left wrist, the team announced Monday. Brown is expected to have surgery to repair the torn ligament later this week. Brown has been remarkably durable throughout his career, never missing more than 12 games in a season. Now, obviously, he will miss Boston’s entire possible postseason run. 

On Monday, the Wizards announced that Beal will miss the team’s next two games against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and Wednesday. He was diagnosed with a left hamstring strain after undergoing an MRI, and will be reevaluated on Friday when Washington takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Zion Williamson is out indefinitely with a fractured left ring finger, the New Orleans Pelicans announced on Friday. Williamson, who played only 24 games as a rookie due to various injuries, has been remarkably durable in his second NBA season. Prior to this injury, he had played in 61 of New Orleans’ 66 games this season, and as a result, has posted historic offensive numbers. Williamson made his first All-Star appearance this season and is averaging 27 points on 61.1 percent shooting. 

Heat guard Victor Oladipo injured his knee against the Lakers on April 9 and has been sidelined since. The injury occurred when Oladipo went up for a dunk and landed awkwardly. Oladipo has been listed as out due to “right knee soreness,” and there have been limited updates on his status. When asked if he had an update on the guard, coach Erik Spoelstra just said “I don’t” and kept it moving. This is just the latest blow to Oladipo’s return after rupturing his quad in 2019 when he was still on the Pacers, as minor injuries here and there have halted his progression to get back to the All-Star level he was playing at prior to the injury.

Gordon Hayward suffered a right foot sprain against the Indiana Pacers on April 2, but is still not close to a return, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The injury occurred when Hayward drove at center Myles Turner. He stepped on Turner’s foot and immediately crumpled to the floor. The loss of Hayward is a big blow to the Hornets, who are in the midst of a tight battle for playoff positioning in the East in the final week of the season. 

John Wall will miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Houston Rockets point guard suffered a Grade 2 strain, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Wall, who missed the entire 2019-20 season due to a torn Achilles tendon, played only 40 games this season, his first with the Houston Rockets. In that time, he averaged over 20 points per game on efficiency only slightly worse than he had posted when healthy with the Washington Wizards.

Deni Avdija hasn’t had an easy rookie season for the Washington Wizards. Sharing the floor with Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal has limited his shot attempts, his playing time has been inconsistent, and losing is often a new experience for top young players. But things hit a new low when Avdija suffered what the team described as a right ankle injury against the Warriors on April 21. An X-Ray revealed that Avdija suffered a hairline fracture and he will be out for the remainder of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He is not expected to need surgery, though, so there is at least that silver lining for the rookie. 

Turner has dealt with a few injuries this season, and the latest is a partially torn plantar plate in his toe. The Pacers announced that the big man will be out indefinitely as they assess the injury and treatment options. At this point, it’s still unclear if he’ll need surgery to fix the problem. Either way, it seems he’s headed for another lengthy stint on the sideline, which is a huge blow for an Indiana team that just clinched its spot in the play-in tournament.        

Jamal Murray suffered a torn ACL in his left knee against the Warriors on April 12, the Denver Nuggets announced. The star guard suffered the non-contact injury in the fourth quarter against the Warriors when he attacked the basket, but as soon as he tried to launch off his leg, he crumpled to the floor and looked to be in serious pain. He rejected a wheelchair and limped off the floor with help. The Nuggets are now forced to make due without their second best player for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.      

 James Wiseman’s season is officially over. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft tore the meniscus in his right knee during a recent game against the Houston Rockets, and as a result, he has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. The Golden State Warriors released a statement confirming that fact and revealing that Wiseman’s surgery was a success. 

After putting up 31 points in a win over the Timberwolves on March 22, it was reported after the game that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would miss time due to plantar fasciitis. It was unclear at first how significant the injury is, but recently Thunder coach Mark Daigneault revealed that Gilgeous-Alexander suffered a “significant tear” in his plantar fascia. With OKC eliminated from playoff contention and just two games left on the schedule, we’ve most likely seen that last of SGA this season.

The Knicks are having their most successful season in a decade, but suffered a setback when Mitchell Robinson went down with a fractured foot on March 27. Robinson had surgery to repair his foot, but no timetable has been given on his return. He could potentially even be done for the season. This is just the latest setback for the big man, who recently came back from a broken hand this season, and has had a list of other injuries which have limited him to just 66 games in his first three seasons in the league.

Clippers center Serge Ibaka has been sidelined since mid-March due to a back injury, but the team is hopeful he makes a return before the postseason. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said Ibaka has been progressing well in his rehab and the team hopes to see him back on the floor before the postseason starts. The Clippers have turned to the duo of Ivica Zubac and Patrick Patterson to hold down the center spot in Ibaka’s absence. The team also added veteran center DeMarcus Cousins for the remainder of the season.



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