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5 Injured Players That Can Have an Impact on Their Team If/When They Return

The NBA has progressively seen more injuries than ever. Many of them have been minor, but there has definitely been an increase in the amount of “season-ending” injuries. Last season, fans saw an extensive amount of injuries. Many people believe that this was due to the lack of rest that players received between the “Bubble” playoffs and the start of the 2020-21 season. Injuries continue to be a problem this year. But, in addition to the injuries, players are now dealing with the possibility of missing a few games due to Health and Safety protocols. These issues are leaving teams with barely enough players to even compete. So, here are my Top-5 players (in no specific order) that can have a big impact on their team if they return.

1. Zion Williamson – Right Foot

The return of Zion has been highly anticipated. Earlier this month, it looked like he was very close to stepping on the court again. But, he was still experiencing soreness despite doctors telling him he was clear to practice. Williamson recently received an injection in his foot that is supposed to speed up the healing process. He will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks. It’s certainly been a struggle for the Pelicans to keep up with their opponents without their star player. However, they are winners of 4 in a row and sit just 2 games back of a play-in spot. If Brandon Ingram can continue to play some of the best basketball of his career, the Pelicans should be able to stay hovered around a playoff spot. Hopefully Zion returns in time to help his team secure a trip to the postseason.

2. Kyrie Irving – Covid Vaccination Issues

Kyrie Irving’s situation is definitely a highly discussed topic among NBA fans. Irving refused to get vaccinated at the beginning of the season and it’s resulted in him not playing a single game. However, sources have recently confirmed that the Nets have agreed to allow him to play in away games. It’s not the perfect scenario for Kyrie fans, but it’s something. Brooklyn is the #1 team in the East currently, and with the help of Irving, they should be able to waltz into the number 1 playoff spot.

3. Klay Thompson – Achilles

Klay Thompson’s injuries have been a sore topic for Warriors fans for a couple years now. Thompson hasn’t played in an NBA game since he tore his ACL in Game 6 of The Finals on June 13, 2019. It has been 2 and a half years. Golden State sits at the top of the West despite not having one of the greatest shooters ever. If the Warriors are already one of the best teams in the league, I can’t imagine how good this team will be when Thompson returns. Not to mention the return of James Wiseman is also approaching.

4. Victor Oladipo – Quadriceps

Earlier this year, Oladipo suffered a ruptured quad tendon in a game against the Raptors. Now, when Oladipo returns he probably won’t play like the prime Indiana Oladipo we are used to. But his impact should be enough to help Miami stay in the top half of the playoff bracket. Miami has been one of those teams this year that just seems like they are only missing a couple pieces in their race to an NBA championship. Maybe Oladipo can be one of those pieces. It’s a longshot, but I think he should be enough to help Miami stay Top 5 in the East.

5. Jamal Murray – ACL

Jamal Murray is widely known for his performance in the bubble. But nobody realized how much of an impact he had on the Nuggets in the regular season as well. When Jokic was having an off night, you could count on Jamal to keep the Nuggets in the game. Now, Jokic is throwing the team on his back and carrying them to the playoffs. Right now, the Nuggets are painfully missing their star Point Guard. If Jamal makes his return this season, it will likely be late in the season. Hopefully just in time to help push his team into the playoffs and out of the play-in.


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