Week 13 NBA Injury Report: Hawk Down

Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao

It’s pretty rough when a team’s starter goes down, the backup is already hurt, and the backup’s backup injures his ankle the very next day. At the same time, it gives teams a chance to snag up previously irrelevant players like John Jenkins and Anthony Morrow and chuckle quietly while they put up serious numbers against the team that used to have Lou Williams. Let’s take a look at the Hawks’ backcourt mess and some non-Hawks injuries as well.

Lou Williams (knee): Williams tore a ligament in his right knee in last Friday’s game against the Nets and will miss the rest of this season and possibly the beginning of next season as well. The Hawks will turn to John Jenkins as well as Anthony Morrow and Devin Harris when they return to action and likely give DeShawn Stevenson some time in the backcourt too.

Anthony Morrow (back): Morrow has missed 14 straight games with a back injury and may miss the rest of this week. He wasn’t fantasy relevant before he went down but is expected to take over Lou Williams’ starting job when he returns.

Devin Harris (ankle): Harris was starting to get it going before he went down with an ankle injury in Saturday’s game against the Spurs. He will return to the depleted backcourt rotation once he returns and should expect to see 35+ minutes per game once healthy.

Anderson Varejao (blood clot): Verejao frustrated fantasy owners with a lingering ankle injury that has kept him out since December 18 but will now be sidelined for the season with a completely different, much more serious ailment – a blood clot in his lung. Good news for Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller owners though, they should remain solid fantasy producers the rest of the way.

Luol Deng (hamstring): Deng missed his second straight game Monday against the Lakers with a strained hamstring but has a shot to play in Wednesday’s game against the Pistons. Jimmy Butler will have the start if Deng doesn’t go and has played very well in his temporary stay in the lineup.

Alexey Shved (ankle): Shved has been out with a sprained ankle since last Thursday and should return sometime this week. The T’Wolves have three games this week so it’s a pretty vague timeline. He has been up and down this week so an injury-limited Shved isn’t worth starting in most leagues once he does return.

Nikola Pekovic (thigh): Pekovic is out at least a week with a thigh injury but should return by this weekend. Greg Stiemsma is starting in his absence but isn’t worth a fantasy pickup except in very deep leagues. When healthy, Pekovic is a must-start, averaging 19 PPG, 10 RPG, and 1 BPG over his last 17 games.

Jason Richardson (knee): Richardson has been diagnosed with something called left knee synovitis and missed Monday’s game against the Spurs and is questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. Bucks. Dorell Wright will start over J. Rich if he misses more time. Considering Richardson’s struggles of late, he isn’t worth starting in most leagues anyway.

Anthony Davis (ankle): Davis had to leave Monday’s game against Sacramento after he rolled his ankle but says he expects to play Wednesday when the Hornets travel to San Antonio. Davis has turned the scoring around and is a blocking machine so he is definitely worth starting in any league when healthy.

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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.