Two young players are scheduled to return to their teams sometime this month after early-season injuries.
The good thing about each of these players is that their team’s have vastly underperformed this season, so they will most likely be quickly reintegrated back into the fold.
(1) Nenad Krstic (NJ)
Injury: Left knee rehab
Out Since: Nov 21, 2007
06-07: 16 points, 7 boards, 2 assists, 1 block, 53% FG%
When to expect him back: mid-to-late January
This 24 year-old, 7 footer is a really talented offensive player. He told the NY Post on December 31st that he “feel(s) really good” and hasn’t seen any swelling in his knee. Although his timetable for return is still up in the air–the team is extra cautious since he has already hurt himself by trying to come back from the same injury too fast before–he’s been doing a lot of conditioning, including full-court drills and “basketball” stuff. Definitely an all-star caliber player when he’s at his best, Krstic’s large reach could really help the Nets’ weak interior.
Nenad should be a great NBA player for a long time if he can sufficiently recover from this injury. The Serbian has good range, good instincts around the rim and has improved in points, boards, assists, blocks, FG% and minutes in each of his first 3 years in the league. Look for him to give the Nets a much needed boost in the second-half of the season.
(2) Randy Foye (Minn)
Injury: Stress Fracture in left kneecap
Out Since: Oct 31, 2007 (all season)
06-07: 10 points, 3 assists, 3 boards, about 1 steal and 1 three, 85% FT% in only 23 minutes
When to expect him back: mid January or sooner
Foye became the go-to guy for the Wolves late last season and hasn’t played a lick all season because of a stress fracture. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the point guard is going to have his injured left knee re-examined on January 7th. During his last examination the doctor’s pushed his timetable for return back a bit, but Wolves Head Coach Randy Wittman says this time he should be “cleared to go (because) he has no pain or anything.”
I’m particularly optimistic about Foye because the Wolves are lacking depth at the point guard position. In his rookie campaign last year, Foye was very effective in limited action, so if he’s anywhere near full recovery from his injury, expect him to get a lot of minutes and a pretty good statline for a depleted Minnesota team.
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