• Eric Gordon will return to the Clippers' lineup on Saturday and will wear a brace for the remainder of the season. This is and will remain a very fluid situation - we can only hope that he avoids another serious aggravation of his right wrist the rest of the way, approximates his fantastic Nov-Jan production, and gets healthy in the off-season. He's been largely inactive for almost two months now and we don't know exactly how much pain he's still dealing with. Gordon deserves universal ownership (currently 85%) because of his abilities and the fantastic upcoming matchups (Sat CLE, Sun PHO), but it's nearly impossible to speculate on expected production until after we see him return to the court.
• Carlos Boozer is still dealing with some pain in his left ankle and is unlikely to play Friday, although he'd yet to be officially ruled out as of this post going live (check the comments for last-minute info). Tom Thibodeau offered the following on Thursday:
''We want him completely healthy before he plays. Whether it's today, tomorrow, a week from now, it's when he's 100 percent. I don't want this injury lingering. It's the smart thing to do because of where we are in the season. I don't want it to be where he comes back, plays a few games, sits a game. We want to get him completely healthy.''
Boozer doesn't seem exceptionally far away, but the Bulls - now sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings - have no good reason to push him back into action before he's absolutely ready. They've got two days off after Friday's game (@IND) and a next step that we'll want to look for is his being a full-contact participant in a team practice.
• Friday status updates: Kobe Bryant (ankle) is expected to play; how close he'll be to 100 percent is TBD ... Channing Frye will return ... George Karl hopes to give Danilo Gallinari around 20 minutes as a reserve in his return ... Andrew Bogut (migraine) is expected to play ... Luis Scola (knee) feels pretty close but will be a game-time decision ... Andray Blatche (shoulder) could barely bounce a ball as of Thursday and is very questionable.
• Other status updates: Tyreke Evans has been cleared to return to practice and could be active by next weekend ... Baron Davis played just 15 minutes Thursday because of back spasms (1-4 FG, 0 assists, 3 turnovers) and is questionable for Saturday ... Both Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko are expected to be game-time decisions for the Jazz on Sunday ... Andre Miller is away from the Blazers to deal with a family matter and his status for Saturday is unknown ... Rashard Lewis is very likely done for the season.
• Most added players (as of 2pm PT): Jodie Meeks, Toney Douglas, Jordan Crawford, Channing Frye, C.J. Miles, DeAndre Jordan, Arron Afflalo, Spencer Hawes, Eric Gordon, and Nenad Krstic
• Most dropped players (as of pm PT): Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Shawne Williams, Carlos Delfino, Kurt Thomas, Rudy Gay, Baron Davis, Kyle Korver, Hakim Warrick, and Tracy McGrady
These and many more topics will be discussed in the Friday live blog, so stop by and participate in the discussion or just lurk and take it all in. We'll get started at 7pm PT/10pm ET.
Check the comment thread for status updates or to post your own.
photo via Getty Images