So let’s take a quick visit to the MASH unit and check in our boys, shall we?
LaMarcus Aldridge: Injury? What injury?
Robin Lopez: according to an Oregonian report the other day, RoLo’s hand is still weak, and sometime in February is his targeted return date. GM Neil Oshey recently said they hope to get him back before the All-Star Break, but will not rush him.
Joel Freeland: Early reports say Freeland may not be back for a while. Previously when in Europe, he had torn his right rotator cuff. As scar tissue is weaker than original tissue, it isn’t a surprise that he reinjured the area. Getting his shoulder back anywhere near full strength is likely not a quick process, and either way is coupled with a greater risk for re-injury this season.
Nicolas Batum: Has a torn wrist ligament in his right (shooting), sustained on the fall following a Larry Sanders' flagrant foul on December 17. He has reaggravated it several times on falls to the court, last and worst against Boston. His numbers on the year (38.8% FG, 27.8% 3pt) suggest he should maybe sit out a while and try and let it heal.
Chris Kaman: Has a torn tendon in his right (shooting) thumb, which he probably sustained in the middle of November, when he started wearing a brace on it. He also suffered a leg contusion against Boston on Thursday, but you knew the Caveman would bring it old school by limping his way through a 6 point, 10 rebound performance in 25 minutes against the Wizards on Saturday.
Wesley Matthews: Has played through a recent hyperextended knee (watch this and try not to have your life flash before your eyes) and a more recent rib contusion (which prompted a middle of the night hospital visit). Numbers have been down, but seem to be improving (41.8% FG, 40% 3pt over last 5 games). I guess you just have to let Iron Man do his thing.
Damian Lillard: Dame took off his hand brace halfway through the Sacramento game. He missed some free throws at the end of the game. He has now worn the brace again the last three games. So evidently still having some problems there.
Allan Crabbe: Day-to-day as he recovers from a strained right knee. Started against Washington and played seven minutes, only to sit the rest of the game. Evidently still needs some time.
Even though outfitting our injured brethren with robot limbs is not impractical (Paul Allen has the funds to make it happen), it is unfortunately assumed to be illegal (although there is no mention of cyborgs in the NBA rulebook). So in the meantime, we are going to get a good, hard look at the bench.