The NBA is one of the fiercest - if not the fiercest - competition in all major sports and when the best athletes in the world collide for a chance to prove they’re the best and have what it takes to go the distance and become NBA Champions.
Of course, that kind of never-ending competition and hard work not always pays off, and sometimes athletes put their bodies to inhuman limits that wind up hurting them for the long run and making them miss time with constant nagging pains.
Injuries are a huge part of all sports and of course, basketball is no exception to that rule, and this particular season has been really tainted with a lot of players that haven’t been able to perform as they’re currently nursing an injury.
Today, we’re going to let you know who are the top 10 injured players right now, as well as what’s wrong with them and when can we expect them to be back in the hardwood playing for their teams.
10. Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker is an outstanding baller and he’s always proved so when able to perform, as he was even the frontrunner to win the Rookie of the Year accolade over Andrew Wiggins before he suffered the first of two season-ending injuries.
After recovering from the first one, Parker was once again knocking down shots, although his touch from distance kind of regressed. Now, he’s expected to be back at least until the first days of March, although reports state that his torn ACL is recovering ahead of schedule and he could even come back sooner.
9. Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum was one of the lone bright spots in the Charlotte Hornets team, being a very smart player that can thrive with versatility, help run the team’s offense, play some defense and even rebound and score the ball.
Sadly, he injured his elbow during the preseason and is expected to miss the entire year, something that means a lot of problem for a Hornets squad that was already kind of shorthanded in the wings, and that should open the door for the rookie Malik Monk to get a lot of minutes.
8. Derrick Rose
It didn’t take really long for Derrick Rose to prove he’s done in this league and that he’ll never be able to be a productive and reliable player in the NBA again, nursing a minor ankle injury that other players would just ignore and play through.
The former MVP has already left the Cavaliers hanging after they already miss Isaiah Thomas and don’t trust washed out veteran Jose Calderon, and even though the injury isn’t serious, this one’s just the first of at least a dozen he’ll have throughout the season.
7. Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine was having a career year before blowing up his knee when he was still a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and boy, he’s really expected in Chicago now that he’s set to be one of the team’s cornerstones for the future.
The athletic standout is expected to come back at some point of this November, and he’s yet to be cleared to go through a full contact practice. Still, he’s been doing a lot of work, especially with his shot, and hopefully, he’ll come back stronger than ever.
6. Myles Turner
Myles Turner suffered a concussion and neck injury during a screen at the end of the first matchup of the season, and even though the injury isn’t major, the Pacers are playing it extremely safe with their new franchise player.
Turner is set to lead the Pacers in scoring and rebounding this year after a couple of dismal campaigns, and with Indiana ready to tank their way throughout the season, there’s absolutely no reason to put their youngster’s health in jeopardy in what are pretty much sparring games for the young Pacers.
5. Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is supposed to lead the Miami Heat again this season, but once again he’s been unable to stay fully healthy, already missing 3 games this campaign leaving Kelly Olynyk handling most of the minutes at center.
The rim protector has a left knee bone bruise and he’s not the kind of guys that play through injuries, so we could expect him to be sidelined at least one more week before he and the team decide to bring him back.
4. Isaiah Thomas
It’s been a really tough couple of months for Isaiah Thomas, losing his sister and then injuring his back during the playoffs, having to watch the Boston Celtics getting their butts whooped by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he was sent to like a dog after all the effort and heart he put at the TD Garden.
Now, he’s in for revenge, and he’s going to be in a prime position to do so as soon as he gets back after the All-Star break, with the Cavs very likely to be the owners of the 1st seed in the East against not much competition whatsoever.
3. Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward's story is really heartbreaking, as he was supposed to be the Boston Celtics biggest arrival in a lot of time when he decided to try free agency and reunite with his college coach, Brad Stevens.
Hayward is going to miss the entire season after breaking his leg just 6 minutes into his Celtics debut, forcing the Celtics to heavily rely in rookie Jayson Tatum and standout sophomore Jaylen Brown, who haven’t disappointed a bit so far.
2. Chris Paul
Chris Paul trade to the Houston Rockets was one of the biggest moves of this offseason, and Mike D’Antoni seemed poised to have an NBA Finals run pairing CP3 with the MVP runner-up and fierce scorer, James Harden.
Sadly, he was only able to perform for one night for his new team after suffering a knee and elbow injury during the preseason, and the Rockets have already stated that they have no intentions whatsoever to play Paul unless he’s fully recovered, something that may take up to 2-4 weeks.
1. Kawhi Leonard
And our best-injured player so far definitely has to be Kawhi Leonard, who’s yet to make his season debut after suffering a quad injury that hasn’t been fully healed so far, and some reports stated that he was even having some trouble climbing up some stairs.
Kawhi’s expected to go back to action when the San Antonio Spurs start their 6 game homestand, so he’s still some matchups away, and you just know Popovich isn’t going to risk his franchise player and MVP candidate until he’s fully recovered and ready to go.