Week 3 Injury Report: T’Wolves and Tribulations

Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic

It’s not often that you can look at the NBA injury report and see an entire team’s roster. Things are looking grim for the Timberwolves, as well as their fantasy owners, as Minnesota has three more players to add to an injury list that already includes Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and J.J. Barea. Suddenly guys like Greg Stiemsma are looking like viable pickups. Things are going to get worse before they get better in this week’s injury report:

Nikola Pekovic injures his ankle
Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic injures his ankle in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. The Timberwolves beat the Mavericks 90-82. Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Nikola Pekovic (ankle sprain): Pek has come on strong for the short-handed T’Wolves averaging 15 PPG, 6 RPG, and 1 BPG but now joins the team’s growing injury list with a sprained ankle. Pekovic stepped on Vince Carter‘s foot and his ankle twisted underneath him. Although the injury isn’t too severe, it’s unlikely he’ll make Wednesday’s game against the Bobcats.

Brandon Roy (bum knees): After taking a year off to recover, Roy is finding the wear of five entire games too much for his 28-year-old knees. He’s missed the last two games with knee soreness but is hopeful to return for Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte. Even if he does, it took just five games for the pain that caused his early pseudo-retirement to return, what do you think his prospects are for an 82-game season?

Chase Budinger (knee surgery): Just when you thought Budinger might make a nice fantasy producer in the short-handed lineup, he joins Ricky Rubio and Kevin love on the long-term injury list after having to undergo knee surgery Tuesday. Brandon Roy should benefit, if his knees can stand playing a whole 20+ minutes. Look for rookie Alexey Shved to get more time as well. Really, the Wolves could use anyone in uniform at this point so don’t discount the possibility of a random fan being chosen to start at guard.

Shawn Marion (sprained MCL): Marion missed his fourth straight game on Monday after spraining his MCL and appears no closer to returning than he was a week ago. Look for Jae Crowder to fill in nicely while Marion recovers.

Jameer Nelson (groin): Looks like his groin is feeling better, there’s a chance that he may play vs. Knicks on Tuesday and should definitely be back by Friday’s game against the Pistons. Bad news for E’Twaun Moore owners.

Kyle Lowry (sprained ankle): Lowry won’t suit up for Tuesday’s game against the Pacers making it four straight missed games. The Raptors don’t play against until Saturday so he should have plenty of time to rest his ankle for the next one.

Steve Blake (abdominal strain): Blake, filling in for the injured Steve Nash, has found himself on the sidelines with an abdominal strain. Not a severe injury, though it did earn him a helicopter ride to the doctor’s office from Kobe, so while he will miss Tuesday’s game vs. Spurs, he may play Friday vs. Suns.

Andrew Bynum (knee): If you were hoping to have Bynum back for your fantasy team sometime soon, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is Christmas has come early, the bad news is all you’re getting is coal. Bynum’s return has been pushed back to January and is third time the 76ers had to push back his return timetable.

Danny Granger (knee): If you were hoping to have Danny Granger back, look’s like you have been as naughty as Andrew Bynum owners. Granger had to receive an injection for patellar tendinosis in his knee and isn’t expected back for three months. Gerald Green is looking like a nice fantasy pickup and odds are he’s still available in your league.

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.