Every team in sports has to deal with injury problems, although some teams are hit harder than others. Fortunately, some key NBA stars should be close to returning after prolonged absences.
In a star-driven league, losing key players for extended periods of time can complete derail a season.
This group of players will try to fix any team problems by coming back to the court as soon as possible.
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Although John Wall has not played a minute this season, his long absence might be coming to an end.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that the guard has returned to practice and will soon be able to join the team on the court:
After practicing Thursday, Wizards guard John Wall is expected to make his season debut within the next two weeks, league sources told SI.com...Wizards players said Wall looked good in practice.
Washington has by far the worst record in the NBA at 4-27, so Wall cannot come back soon enough.
While it is unlikely he can turn around the season toward playoff contention, the talented point guard should at least be able to bring his team to respectability.
Raymond Felton, New York Knicks
Over the first couple of months of the season, Raymond Felton was one of the major reasons for the success of the New York Knicks.
Unfortunately, the guard broke his right hand and will miss some time.
Al Iannazzone of Newsday at least presents some silver lining. Apparently, Felton will not need surgery and can return quicker. When asked about surgery, the veteran told the media:
They would have had to put in pins and screws. Once my bone heals, it's probably up to my comfort.. Hopefully the bone will heal before we leave for London. [Expected return is] either that Boston or maybe that Philly game.
That puts a target for return at either Jan. 24 or Jan. 26. For someone that was expected to miss possibly eight to 12 weeks after surgery, this is a very encouraging sign.
Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers
One of the key pieces in the Dwight Howard trade over the summer was Andrew Bynum being sent to the 76ers. However, he is still yet to play for his new team.
While no new information on the injury has come out for awhile, Philadelphia is planning on announcing an update on Monday, which could be either very good or very bad for the organization.
John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the latest news:
According to Sixers director of public relations Mike Preston, the Sixers will probably have an update on Andrew Bynum when the team returns from the road. The update, if it comes, will most likely take place Monday.
The last update came Dec. 21. Bynum reported that his left knee - he has bone bruises in both knees - felt fine. The Sixers said that Bynum was entering a six-step process that would go from low-impact work to the court.
This has been a mysterious process, but hopefully he is able to return quickly for this struggling team.