Status updates from around the league in bullet-point form and some discussion of rising and falling player values.
• There is still no set timetable for the return of Rodrigue Beaubois(notes) as he recovers from setbacks related to a broken foot sustained this summer. Look for production elsewhere if you haven’t already.• Head coach Phil Jackson recently announced that Kobe Bryant(notes)’s minutes are to be limited in the beginning of the regular season, and that he could also see limited minutes in back-to-back situations. While Bryant’s toughness has never been questioned, it is clear that the Lakers brass are willing to sacrifice some regular season success to prepare for another deep postseason run.
• On a similar note, the Lakers are going to proceed with caution in bringing back Andrew Bynum(notes) from his latest round of offseason knee surgery. Bynum has been cleared to ratchet up his physical activities, although he has not yet been cleared for explosive running or jumping. Bynum is still at least a month away from playing his first minutes this season.
• Veteran center Marcus Camby(notes) sat out his third consecutive game with a sore hip but claims he would have been active if it were the regular season. Camby should be available on opening night but comes with the usual injury concerns.
• Tyson Chandler(notes) cut his hand on the rim in Wednesday’s preseason loss to the Orlando Magic. Chandler required a couple of stitches to his right thumb and sat out the remainder of the game. He is not expected to miss significant time as a result.
• Suns swingman Josh Childress(notes) fractured the tip of one of his fingers during Phoenix’s preseason victory over the Golden State Warriors. Childress is to refrain from participating in any basketball activities for one week and will be re-evaluated on the day of the Suns’ first regular season game.
• The Bobcats recently experienced some success with Boris Diaw(notes) playing point-forward against New Orleans (seven assists versus only two turnovers along with the win). Playing the point is not unfamiliar territory for Diaw, who has filled that role for both Mike D’Antoni’s Suns and his French national team. Letting Diaw initiate Charlotte’s offense would allow D.J. Augustin(notes) to focus on shooting instead of distributing, and could be a boon for both Diaw’s and Augustin’s fantasy values this season.
• Tyreke Evans(notes) is the latest in a long line of professional basketball players to be diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. While the diagnosis is being described as mild, any plantar fasciitis diagnosis should be viewed as a red flag for fantasy managers, as it generally requires a healthy dose of rest to overcome and can be easily aggravated during the grind of an 82-game season.
• Toronto’s point guard battle become a little less clear recently (if that is possible) with the development that Jarrett Jack(notes) is suffering from a swollen bursa sac in his left elbow. While there is no indication how long Jack will suffer from this uncommon injury, it is clear that his range of motion in his (non-shooting) elbow will be limited, putting a damper on his campaign to unseat Jose Calderon(notes) as Toronto’s starting point guard.
• Al Jefferson(notes) suffered a bruised knuckle during Utah’s preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Although the knuckle on Jefferson’s right index finger was swollen and bruised after the game, Al is not expected to miss any games unless he aggravates the injury further.
• Wesley Matthews(notes) is still recovering from his Achilles injury and has been ruled out for Portland’s final preseason game against Denver. Accordingly, Matthews remains questionable for Portland’s season opener against Phoenix.
• Darko Milicic(notes) sat out Minnesota’s game against the Pacers because of neck and shoulder pain. Neck pain is difficult to gauge and there are no indications as to the seriousness of the injury besides head coach Kurt Rambis’ indication that Darko is experiencing considerable pain. Monitor the situation for updates on the severity of Milicic’s injury prior to the start of the season.
• Troy Murphy(notes) recently received a cortisone shot in his back in order to reduce the pain he has been experiencing since diving for a loose rebound in practice. Murphy is optimistically targeting a return to practice this weekend, with an eye towards seeing game action shortly after the regular season opens. Back injuries have a high probability of re-injury or aggravation, so take this timeline with a dose of skepticism.• Anderson Varejao(notes) and Mo Williams(notes) returned to action for Cleveland after both players missed the Cavaliers’ previous six preseason games. Varejao returned from an offseason ankle injury suffered in Turkey while Williams returned from a groin injury that occurred just before training camp.
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