There are several high profile NBA players who are currently dealing with various injuries, while others are on their way back or have recently returned to action after missing some time. Here is a quick medical update on some key players and how it affects fantasy leagues.
Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors -- Curry is going to miss this week due to a re-aggravation of an ankle sprain that he's been playing through over the last few games. Reggie Williams is now the Warriors' starting shooting guard in Curry's absence, and Monta Ellis will slide down at the point. Williams is a must-grab in most formats due to his ability to score and shoot threes, and at an efficient clip to boot. There were high expectations for Williams coming into this season due to what he was able to show fans last season when he got some extended minutes. Instead, Dorrell Wright was blessed with the starting SF gig and it all but crushed Williams' value into a pulp of erratic games. While Curry is out, expect Williams to be more consistent and deliver contributions in the points, threes made, three-point shooting and field-goal shooting categories while not hurting your TOs.
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston Rockets -- He's very close to returning from his ankle injury and has stepped up his workouts. There's a good chance that he'll be able to play this week, but don't expect him to play a ton of minutes from the get go. His workload will be eased onto him slowly and he should be close to 100 percent toward the tail end of December. Kyle Lowry's value will take a hit at that point. Once Brooks is playing on all cylinders Lowry will only remain valuable in the deepest of leagues. This would be a good time to search for a replacement for Lowry on your rosters.
Drew Gooden, F/C, Milwaukee Bucks -- Gooden is suffering from plantar fasciitis, which is an injury that tends to linger and is only really properly addressed by rest. Even though rookie Larry Sanders has been starting in his place, it's actually Ersan Ilyasova who has benefited the most from Gooden missing time. Ilyasova won't be the most consistent pick-up, but his good games are worth it, especially if you're in a deep league. He is more of a three-point shooting swingman who is able to deliver some rebounds and steals when he's getting good minutes, but if you're a Gooden owner, any output at this point is better than nothing.
Tyreke Evans, G, Sacramento Kings -- Speaking of plantar fasciitis, the injury is also affecting Evans' left foot at the moment. Although Evans has not spoken to the team about his plans, he is expected to miss this entire week's action. For this duration consider Evans a buy-low candidate as his owners may not be able to handle his upcoming missed games, or at the least, fear that the plantar fasciitis will linger throughout the season. Beno Udrih, Francisco Garcia and Luther Head should see slight bumps in fantasy value while Evans is sidelined.
Andrew Bynum, C, Los Angeles Lakers -- He's scheduled to return to action this Tuesday, but don't expect too much from him from the beginning. His return is coming at just the right time as both Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are also battered and bruised. His return and its impact on then Lakers' production for the remainder of the season are bigger than Bynum's actual contributions this December. Look to 2011 for Bynum to be able to ramp up his play; at that point expect Lamar Odom's numbers to drop significantly as he returns to the bench. It might not be too late to sell high on Odom. Send out feelers through your league for takers who might be willing to part with more long-term producers.
Chris Kaman, C, Los Angeles Clippers -- He's expected to miss at least three weeks due to a deep bone bruise. Assuming he does not encounter any major setbacks in his rehabilitation, he should be back by mid-to-late January. Until then DeAndre Jordan will continue to fill-in for Kaman at center for the Clippers. Jordan will not have much value other than being a source of blocks in deep leagues. If you're in a 12-team league or shallower, you might want to consider dropping Kaman for a healthier and more productive big man in the free agent pool.
Baron Davis, PG, Los Angeles Clippers -- While he's not yet 100 percent from the hamstring injury that he's dealing with, he has already been reinserted into the starting lineup. That's a good sign as he can now begin working his way back into game shape slowly but surely. Eric Bledsoe should be dropped for more productive alternatives as Davis steadily eats up more and more of the PG minutes as he regains his form.
Mario Chalmers, PG, Miami Heat -- It's taken some time, but Chalmers has worked his way back from an ankle injury that he suffered at the start of the season. Over the last several games he's been eating into more and more of Carlos Arroyo's minutes. It's just a matter of time until Chalmers takes the starting gig away from Arroyo. He provides the Heat with better defense against opposing point guards and he's also more competent at shooting the three. Chalmers is now a worthwhile snatch-and-stash in deep leagues. He will be a decent third or fourth string PG and will be a decent booster in the 3PTM, AST, and STL categories.
Mike Miller, G/F, Miami Heat -- He's been projecting a Christmas return. That's a realistic projection, but still on the optimistic side. Even though the Heat have now found a winning groove, they still need his versatility, his passing ability, and his long-range talents. Miller has generally hit two treys a night while still managing to average 50 percent from the field. That's a rarity to find lying around in the FA pool. Grab him now as an advanced Christmas present for your team's overall performance.