Players to Monitor Coming Off of Injury
Mike Dunleavy, Indiana Pacers, SF
Dunleavy returns to action for the first time since last April for the Pacers tonight. This squad has missed his quasi-veteran presence in the lineup and will take some of the pressure off of wunderkind Danny Granger.
He's currently owned in a wide majority of leagues, but if he's still dangling on your waiver wire I wouldn't shy away from scooping him up if you've got the space or someone just wasting space.
Nenad Krstic, Oklahoma City Thunder, C
Playing overseas certainly boosted the confidence many had lost in Krstic after he suffered a knee injury while playing for the Nets last season. If he can show the kind of interior offense that we saw back when Krstic was averaging a little over 16 ppg and a shade under 7 boards per contest, I like him even more.
He's certainly going to need some time to readjust to the NBA after spending the majority of 2008 playing in Russia. But reports sound as if he was playing at a level high enough worthy of an NBA roster spot and the Thunder jumped at the opportunity to give him one.
Could make a great backup center.
Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors, PG
The previous two entrants into this column are going to be on a court near you very soon. But the next two are long term projects you'll need to keep an eye on, or stash on your injured reserve if your league allows it.
Ellis is reportedly upset with the Warriors and may demand a trade once returning to the lineup. His ankle is healing up nicely and Ellis could be ready to play. Soon, according to this article:
Said [head coach Don] Nelson: "He wants to play and we're being very conservative. But he's getting close to getting a practice in. He feels he's ready. ... We want to make a good decision and not hurry him back too fast. We're holding him back more than anything."
"There will be no rushing back," Nelson said. "If we had rushed him back he would have been playing two weeks ago. Because he wanted to play."
So keep your eyes peeled because Ellis is a rare talent at the point guard position. His combination of killer speed and court vision are virtues in a point guard that's more than capable of delivering at an elite level.
Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards, PG
I still laugh at the notion 'Agent Zero' got a fat six-year, $111 million contract just before having to go under the knife for the third time because of the same left knee.
But he's back at the Wizards facility, reportedly playing games of two-on-two with his teammates.
Caron Butler had this to say about Arenas:
"He looks good," Butler said. "I've seen him on and off the court. He's in high spirits, he's trimming down a lot. So I just hope everything works out good. I'm not a doctor or anything, so don't label it as that, but you didn't want to see him out there in November or December playing one game and then missing one. So if he's back at some point at the end of this month or in February, so be it, but we definitely need him back healthy."
So what should you make of all that?
Arenas' knee issues won't be going away anytime soon. It's going to take quite a bit of time before he gets back into game shape and even more time before he returns to his 'Hibachi' status.
Again, if you've got an IR spot and it's not being used, stash him. Otherwise, keep reading here at the Fantasy Factor for more updates about his status.