INJURY: Fractured foot | STATUS: No return date set
Zion Williamson suffered a slight setback in his return to full team activities as he experienced soreness in his injured right foot, as first reported by ESPN’s Andrew Lopez and The Athletic’s Will Guillory . The Pelicans will reportedly play it safe and decrease his work as he continues to come back from a broken foot. There’s no telling when the big man will make his much-anticipated return to the court.
INJURY: Thumb (torn UCL) I STATUS: Out 4-6 weeks
Adebayo underwent successful surgery on Dec. 6 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, the Heat announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin at the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center in Los Angeles, and Adebayo is expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action following the procedure.
INJURY: Hand (torn ligaments) I STATUS: Expected to miss several months
McConnell had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand and is expected to miss several months, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Depending on his recovery, McConnell could be out for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
INJURY: Back (surgery) | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Milwaukee has bounced back after a rough start in its title defense, largely due to injuries. One of the most notable is Lopez’s back injury, which has kept him off the court since opening night. The Bucks big man underwent back surgery, the team announced , and will be sidelined indefinitely. The Bucks say more updates will be provided as Lopez progresses in his rehab.
INJURY: Hamstring STATUS: No timetable for return
Booker left the Phoenix Suns’ 104-96 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter with a hamstring injury Tuesday night. Though he didn’t return to the game, Booker was on the bench cheering on his team after the injury. Hopefully this was more of a precautionary measure and not something that will keep Booker out for significant time.
INJURY: Back (surgery) | STATUS: Likely out for season
Porter will undergo surgery for his lower back, per his agent Mark Bartelstein, and is reportedly expected to miss the remainder of the season following the procedure. Earlier in the month, Porter came up limping after missing a breakaway layup. It’s not clear exactly what happened, but he didn’t get any lift as he tried to go to the rim, and left the game a short time later. The Nuggets originally listed the injury as lower back soreness, but after additional testing it was determined that he would need to undergo yet another back surgery.
INJURY: Right ankle sprain | STATUS: Out at least two weeks
An MRI revealed that Bogdanovic would miss at least the next two weeks with a right ankle sprain, after having to be helped off the court in the second quarter of Atlanta’s 99-90 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.
INJURY: Knee sprain | STATUS: Expected to miss a few weeks
Morant left Memphis’ 132-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night in the first quarter with a left knee injury. Morant didn’t return to the contest, and afterward he underwent testing that revealed a knee sprain. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant avoided a serious injury and will miss a few weeks , though is expected to make a full recovery.
INJURY: Knee (torn ACL) | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Leonard went down with a torn ACL during the second round of the playoffs last season, and has not played since. It’s still unclear if he’s going to return this season, but if he does it won’t be until some time in the spring. There likely won’t be any definitive updates until then, and whether or not the Clippers can hang in the playoff race will likely play a part in determining his recovery plan.
INJURY: Achilles | STATUS: Hoping to return before Christmas
The last time we saw Thompson was Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Since then he’s undergone two major surgeries, one for a torn ACL and the other for a torn Achilles tendon. Now, finally, he’s on the verge of a return. He was cleared for 5-on-5 practice last week, and Golden State recently assigned him to play with the team’s G League affiliate team , the Santa Cruz Warriors. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that Thompson is back to playing 5-on-5 again, and a recent report from The Athletic indicated that Thompson has been cleared to be a full participant in practice. If all goes well, the Warriors are hoping to have Thompson back ahead of Christmas. That would be a major boost to a team that already has the best record in the league.
INJURY: Knee (torn ACL) | STATUS: Out indefinitely
The Nuggets have been without their star guard since late last season, when he tore his ACL against the Warriors. Murray has been ramping up his workouts and said recently that he feels “great.” However, he won’t be back on the court until some time in the spring at the earliest. Whether the Nuggets can remain afloat without him and Porter remains to be seen.
INJURY: Personal; COVID restrictions | STATUS: No timeline for return
Irving falls into the same category as Ben Simmons, where he’s not actually injured, but he has to be mentioned since he hasn’t played all season. The Nets star is still unvaccinated against COVID-19, which means he is not able to enter Barclays Center for home games due to New York City’s health mandates. While Irving would be eligible to play on the road, the Nets decided not to include him as a part-time player. He’s been away from the team since training camp, and will not play until he either receives the vaccine or the mandates in New York change.
INJURY: Mental health | STATUS: No timeline for return
The Simmons saga is well known at this point. And though he doesn’t have a physical injury we’ll include him here since he is reportedly dealing with mental health issues. He doesn’t want to play for the Sixers anymore, and the team hasn’t found a trade they like and neither side will budge as the standoff continues. Most recently, the two sides have been in dispute over Simmons’ mental health treatment, and the team recently resumed fining Simmons.
INJURY: Ankle (surgery) | STATUS: Out until at least mid-December
The Lakers signed Ariza with the hope that he could provide some extra depth and veteran leadership on the wing, but he suffered an ankle injury during training camp and has not played yet. However, that could change soon as Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Monday afternoon that the veteran participated in live action during practice . While that doesn’t suggest he’ll be on the floor soon, it is a positive sign that his return could be inching closer.
INJURY: Ankle (torn ligament) | STATUS: Potential return in December
Donte DiVincenzo hasn’t played for the defending champs yet this season after tearing a ligament in his ankle during the first round of the playoffs, but his return is fast approaching. The Bucks assigned the guard to the G League as he inches closer to a December return, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium .
INJURY: Back (surgery) | STATUS: Out 4-8 weeks
Joe Harris will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle on Monday to remove a “little bone particle” that is stuck in there, Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters. Harris will be sidelined 4-8 eight weeks, his agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooklyn has been without Harris for the last two weeks, and has gone 5-2 in that span. Until Harris returns, Nash will have to continue to tinker with his rotation, balancing shooting and defense as he sees fit.
INJURY: Knee | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Dozier has been a key reserve for the Nuggets, but, unfortunately, his season likely came to an end Tuesday night with what was confirmed to be a torn ACL to his left knee, the team announced on Wednesday night . The guard went to the ground late in the first quarter after coming down awkwardly on a layup attempt.
INJURY: COVID-19 | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Batum was the latest player to enter the league’s health and safety protocols, and missed the Clippers’ win over the Mavericks on Sunday. He’ll miss at least 10 days, according to a report from The Athletic , while head coach Ty Lue said , “I’m not sure the days, but I expect him to be out (a while) … not sure the timetable.” Batum will be a big loss for the Clippers, who are already without star wing Kawhi Leonard.
INJURY: Wrist (surgery) | STATUS: Out until at least April
Williams, the No. 4 overall pick last year, was off to an encouraging start along with the Bulls. But against the New York Knicks he took a hard foul from Mitchell Robinson and suffered a serious wrist injury upon landing. He is out until at least April due to a dislocation and torn ligaments that required surgery. We should get an update in the spring about whether or not he’ll be able to return for the playoffs — assuming the Bulls continue in this form and make a deep run.
INJURY: Knee (torn meniscus) | STATUS: Out for season
The Cavaliers’ fourth-year guard went down with a knee injury against the Knicks in early November. A few weeks later, the team announced that he had in fact suffered a torn meniscus, which required season-ending surgery. There’s never a good time for a major injury, but this was especially unfortunate for Sexton, who is set to be a free agent this summer. Sexton was reportedly looking for a deal in the four-year, $100 million range, and it will be interesting to see if he can still command that value.
INJURY: Knee (torn meniscus) | STATUS: Hoping to return soon
Wiseman’s frustrating rookie campaign came to an end back in April when he tore his meniscus upon landing from a dunk attempt. He’s been sidelined since then but is now closing in on a return. Earlier this month he returned to practice and has had no setbacks since amping up his activity level. He hasn’t been cleared for 5-on-5 yet, but the Warriors did assign him to practice with the Santa Cruz Warriors to get reps in before making a return. While they haven’t determined a specific game just yet, the Warriors could have him back in the lineup very soon.
INJURY: Fractured foot | STATUS: Out until late December, early January at the earliest
Few players have had a worse year than Warren, who has been beset by bad injury luck. A stress fracture in his foot limited him to just four games last season, then he suffered a setback in his recovery over the summer and has still not been able to return to the court. Recent updates have been positive, and Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said Warren’s most recent scans were “great news.” Still, even under the best of circumstances he won’t be back until late December or January. The team is not going to rush this given everything he’s gone through over the past year.
INJURY: Quad tendon | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Oladipo ruptured his quad tendon in January of 2019, and has really never been right since then. He’s played just 88 games over the last three-plus seasons, and has not participated at all in this campaign. A recent report from the Miami Herald indicated that the Heat are hopeful he’ll be able to play by March, but he’s recovering from a secondary surgery on his quad in the offseason and there’s no set timeline for his return.
INJURY: Knee (torn ACL) | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Fultz seemed like he had finally found a home with the Magic last season, and then he almost immediately tore his ACL in a cruel twist of fate. The Magic front office has been pretty tight-lipped about any sort of updates, but Wendell Carter Jr. revealed in a recent interview that Fultz is now back on the court. “Markelle’s been in a couple of the practices with us,” Carter said . “Kinda just running through the plays, doing some defensive stuff with us. He looks good.” That’s a positive sign, but it’s still unclear when Fultz will be ready for games again.
INJURY: Knee (torn ACL and meniscus) | STATUS: Out indefinitely
The last time Isaac was on the court was over a year ago in the bubble in Orlando, when he suffered a devastating knee injury that included a torn meniscus and ACL. While it makes sense that the Magic are taking the cautious route with a player who has been frequently injured, it’s a bit surprising that Isaac isn’t closer to a return. We’re going on 16 months now since the injury and there’s still no timeline. Even stranger is that based on a recent interview with Wendell Carter Jr., it appears as though Isaac hasn’t progressed to doing much on-court work, if any. “JI’s also doing a fantastic job,” Carter said . “He’s always in early in the morning before we even get there, before our practices and stuff. He’s already on the table getting treatment on his knee, lifting, all that stuff. He’s doing good.”
INJURY: Neck | STATUS: Out indefinitely
The veteran Heat forward was injured in a bizarre incident with Nikola Jokic earlier this month. After Morris delivered a reckless foul late in a blowout loss, Jokic retaliated with a cheap shot of his own to Morris’ back, which resulted in a neck injury. Morris hasn’t played since and remains out indefinitely.
INJURY: Knee (MCL sprain) | STATUS: Hoping to be back before Christmas
The veteran big man was off to a pretty solid start in his first season with the Pistons, but he went down with a Grade II MCL sprain after 10 games. He didn’t need surgery, which was good news, but the initial timeline was a hefty six weeks. Barring any setbacks he should be back around Christmas, but the struggling Pistons might already be out of the playoff race by that point.
INJURY: Wrist (tendon) | STATUS: Out eight weeks
Hunter has had some promising moments for the Hawks, but has not been able to get an extended run of games since his rookie season. He played just 23 games last season, and missed most of the Hawks’ playoff run due to knee injuries, including a torn meniscus that required offseason surgery. While he was ready to go this season, he only managed to play 11 games before suffering a wrist tendon injury that will keep him on the bench for eight weeks.
INJURY: Ankle (surgery) | STATUS: Out until after Christmas
Collins got off to a promising start in his career with the Trail Blazers, but injuries have completely destroyed the past two-plus seasons. He was limited to 11 games in 2019-20, and hasn’t played since due to shoulder surgery and multiple ankle operations. Collins signed with the Spurs in the offseason, and head coach Gregg Popovich said that the medical staff hopes the big man will be back after Christmas. A more definitive timeline will have to wait.
INJURY: Personal leave | STATUS: Out indefinitely
The former lottery pick was granted a leave of absence for personal reasons prior to the season and has not played. In fact, prior to this week he hadn’t even been around the team. That changed earlier this week, however, as Hachimura participated in shootaround prior to the Wizards’ game against the Heat. He’s expected to join their G League squad, the Go-Go, and will practice and possibly play with them in the short-term. Beyond that, it’s simply impossible to say right now when he’ll be rejoin the Wizards, who are off to a fantastic start.
INJURY: Knee (torn ACL) | STATUS: Hopeful to return before start of new year
Another Wizards big man who has been stuck on the bench all season is Thomas Bryant. He went down with a torn ACL back in January, and is now reaching the final stages of his rehab. Earlier this month, a report from The Athletic indicated that the Wizards are hoping to have Bryant back before the start of the new year. Anything more specific will have to wait.
INJURY: Hip pointer | STATUS: Out indefinitely
Anunoby was one of the favorites to win Most Improved Player this season, and he was showing exactly why through the first 15 games. Unfortunately, his strong start to the season came to a stop earlier this month when he suffered a hip pointer that will keep him out indefinitely. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said that the team’s vice president of player health and performance, Alex McKechnie, told him “it’ll be a while.” What that means exactly is hard to say, but it seems like Anunoby could miss more than a few games. That’s a tough break for him and the Raptors.