Random injuries happen every season, but it seems like this has been a particularly brutal season on that front. As we come out of the All-Star break, it's time to take a close look at your rosters and waiver wires to determine how to handle players who are in the infirmary.
When it comes to players who are out for the remainder of the season, they only have value in keeper leagues. With that in mind, I would do my best to keep Derrick Rose (14.4 percent), Al Horford (21.5 percent), Nerlens Noel (1.0 percent) and Brook Lopez (23.3 percent) -- in that order. I don't see any reason to keep Nate Robinson (17.1 percent) or Danilo Gallinari (8.0 percent) in any format, particularly considering both the nature of their respective injuries and the inconsistent production we've seen from them of late.
Let's take a comprehensive look at all players who have been dealing with long-term injuries and are currently on many waiver wires to determine whether they are worth rostering.
Kobe Bryant (80.0 percent ownership), Los Angeles Lakers: Last we heard, Kobe was expected to have his fractured knee re-examined after the All-Star break. So, if you believe that he is going to return and make a statistical mark this season, you should hang onto him until the results are made public. My skepticism about Bryant making an impact hasn't waned all season, so I wouldn't waste a roster spot on him. Trade him or release him.
J.J. Redick (70.8 percent), Los Angeles Clippers: It appears that Redick will not return from his hip injury on Tuesday night, but he could be back in the mix by the weekend. All he does is bomb 3-pointers, but if that's a need of yours, Redick is worth rostering.
Kevin Martin (68.6 percent), Minnesota Timberwolves: Like Redick, Martin is a 3-point specialist. The difference is that he is averaging 19 points per game this season. Martin is slated to have his broken thumb re-examined on Friday, at which point it may be too late for you to add him off of waivers. There has been no firm timeline given for his return, but most fractures take a month or so to heal, which means he could be back within a couple of weeks.
Eric Bledsoe (64.6 percent), Phoenix Suns: It's been five weeks since Bledsoe had the meniscus in his knee repaired, and he is making progress in his rehab. The Suns have avoided giving out a firm timetable, but my guess is a return in early March is possible, if all goes well. Considering his stellar pre-injury production, it's time to get ahead of the curve and add him before a formal timetable is released.
Jrue Holiday (56.9 percent), New Orleans Pelicans: Holiday hasn't been on the hardwood since Jan. 8, and the only real update from the Pelicans was that he remains out indefinitely (as of just before the All-Star break). He has a stress fracture in his tibia, which is the type of injury that can linger. Due to his upside, Holiday probably is worth stashing if possible. But with no clear path to a return to action for the point guard, it's safe to move on if you have to.
Kawhi Leonard (56.9 percent), San Antonio Spurs: It sounds like he is on target to return this week from his fractured hand. He may not do enough to help teams in standard leagues, but his field goal percentage, rebounding, steals and 3-point shooting will help those of you in deep leagues. Add him and hope he can get hot for a stretch once he's healthy.
Nick Young (41.7 percent), Los Angeles Lakers: The initial report on Young was that he would miss at least a couple of weeks with a knee injury. I suspect that he's looking at another couple of weeks on the sideline and would hold off adding him for now, barring a more hopeful update in the near future.
Larry Sanders (38.8 percent), Milwaukee Bucks: The clock is ticking away on what's turning into a lost season for Sanders. There are eight weeks remaining in the season, and Sanders is expected to miss at least the next six of them due to surgery that repaired a fractured orbital. In other words, move along and consider adding him in late March, if his recovery goes according to plan.
O.J. Mayo (35.9 percent), Milwaukee Bucks: Even if he returns from his mysterious illness, it's debatable whether you would want to add him. I suppose if you are in a deep league, you could hold out hope that he could get healthy and find a rhythm in the coming weeks, but he has shown no reason this season to believe things will go down that way.
Steve Nash (31.3 percent), Los Angeles Lakers: If you're one of the 31.3 percent of ESPN owners with Nash on your roster and you aren't related to him, do yourself a favor and let him go. The clock ran out on his fantasy hoops career when he left the Phoenix Suns.
Manu Ginobili (30.5 percent), San Antonio Spurs: He should return from his strained hamstring this week, but it's anyone's guess as to what sort of stats we should expect from him. Most likely he will be inconsistent the rest of the way.
Avery Bradley (24.5 percent), Boston Celtics: He's been battling an ankle injury since about the time that Rajon Rondo returned, so it's not clear how his production will be affected by running with Rondo. There is upside here, so it's worth keeping an eye on him if any promising reports on his progress pop up.
Jodie Meeks (23.2 percent), Los Angeles Lakers: We should be skeptical about Meeks' ability to replicate the crazy stats he was posting in January (18.9 ppg, 1.9 spg, 2.6 3s per game, 46.1 field goal percentage and 88.2 free throw percentage), since he has shot 41.4 percent from the field for his career and hasn't racked up stats like that previously. On the other hand, the door remains open for him to do so on the injury-riddled, talent-lacking Lakers, so add him and see what happens.
JaVale McGee (18.7 percent), Denver Nuggets: A decision on season-ending surgery to repair the stress fracture in his leg should come by March 1, but I think the writing is on the wall and we won't see him play again this season.
Andrea Bargnani (18.2 percent), New York Knicks: Even if he manages to return to action by the end of the month, can we really expect any decent production from a shaky shooter working his way back from a torn elbow ligament? That was a rhetorical question.