The Houston Rocket’s center Clint Capela is expected to miss 4- 6 weeks with a reported thumb ligament injury. He is not expected to need surgery but may seek a second opinion.
Capela likely injured one of the collateral ligaments at the thumb. There is one on the inside of the thumb and one on the outside. Both of these are important for gripping activities and are commonly injured in basketball players. The MRI most likely revealed a partial ligament injury if he is not undergoing immediate surgery. These are usually protected with a cast or splint for about 4 weeks and then gradual return to activity by 6 weeks.
If Capela decides to have surgery, then this would involve fixation of the ligament with suture embedded into the bone to re-attach the ligament. For NBA players, this is usually 8 weeks to return to full play.
Regardless, he is not expected to return until after the All- Star break. This is a major hit for the Rockets who have little depth at center. Nene is expected to start, and PJ Tucker will rotate into center for their small lineup.
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How will the Lakers adjust without Lonzo Ball?
Not one, not two, but a total of three Lakers have been sidelined with impactful injuries, just within the past thirty days. First, it was four time MVP, Lebron James, just weeks after, it was veteran back-up point guard, Rajon Rondo, and now as we speak, starting point guard, Lonzo Ball. Ball’s injury was sustained moments after the second year point-guard caught a skip pass, coming from the far, right corner to the top of the key. After receiving the pass, Ball headed straight towards the rim but when cut off by Houston Rockets wing, James Ennis, his ankle gave out as he gingerly fell onto the court. Ball had to exit the game for its entirety and was unable to walk off the court under his own power.
Quite frankly this injury comes at an inopportune time for both parties- the Lakers and Ball. Not only will Ball’s inherited gifts such as his length, size, and athleticism be missed, but also the incessant improvements to his outside shooting and defense that have shown through, recently. From an X’s and O’s adjustment standpoint, look for the Lakers to utilize Brandon Ingram more as a primarily ball handler in the starting lineup. His length and adept ball-handling skills advertise him as a viable candidate to get the ball up and the down court in an efficient manner. Ingram is also a worthy interim-replacement because he sticks to the script when it comes to getting his team into their offensive sets. In other words, his game doesn’t embody many selfish tendencies which makes it easier for other players to involve themselves in the offense. That being said, even though Ingram may be their best option, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the main approach will be to move the ball via competent passing. Ingram isn’t equipped with nearly as much speed in the open court like Lonzo; therefore, it is more feasible to put emphasis on passing as the main mode for movement because the ball always outruns humans.
In regards to the future, news has already broken out that the severity of the sprain is viewed as a grade 3. The protocol for Ball realistically will be wearing an ankle brace for 2-3 weeks. It is important the Laker’s training staff takes the ultimate amount of precaution, with Ball being regarded as a piece of the posterity for this this team. Ball has the chance of suiting up to play in about 6 weeks. Lakers fans are going to have to hold tight for a little while to see their young stud suited up.