Clinging on for dear life to the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff picture, the Los Angeles Clippers have taken a hit on the injury front. Shooting guard Avery Bradley will miss the rest of the regular season after undergoing successful surgery to repair adductor and rectus abdominis muscles. The injury is commonly known as a sports hernia.
According to Fantasy Doctors injury expert Dr. Selene Parekh, the road to recovery won’t be swift. Bradley could miss three to six months depending on the rehabilitation. If that’s the case, it ends any chances of Bradley returning for a potential postseason run.
Bradley is widely considered one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He’s consistently dominated that part of his game since coming into the league in 2010. It’s exactly why he earned a generous four-year $32M contract from the Detroit Pistons last offseason. Bradley appeared in just 40 games before getting shipped to Los Angeles in the blockbuster Blake Griffin trade.
Injuries have limited Bradley’s chances with his new team. In just six appearances, he’s averaged 9.2 points per game, shooting 47% percent from the floor but has yet to see the court since February 14th.
Despite their struggles this season, the Clippers are ranked 15th in defensive efficiency. That won’t get any better heading into the postseason, however. Assuming Doc Rivers and company can hold on to a playoff berth, they’ll likely be matched up with either Golden State or Houston in the first round. Defending the likes of Stephen Curry or James Harden without Bradley is a nightmare in itself.
From a fantasy perspective, Bradley has been a liability since arriving in Los Angeles. This is a perfect time to start Lou Williams if you haven’t already. His career season should only continue with the increased playing time. If you’re looking for a cheap in-house replacement, rookie Sindarius Thornwell could provide that option. The South Carolina product averages just 3.5 points per game but will continue to earn a larger role. Bradley will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, meaning the Clippers will continue to push Thornwell’s development this season.