Expectations for Zion Williamson, other stars returning from injury

Special to Yahoo Sports

As the 2022-23 NBA season creeps closer and closer, it’s officially become socially acceptable to begin preparing for fantasy basketball draft season. As always, a major piece of that preparation is evaluating players recovering from injuries and deciding whether or not they’re worth their ADP.

Of course, some players’ injuries are more severe than others, and each player’s individual history must be heavily considered. Managers may want to think twice before drafting veterans like Kyrie Irving or Malcolm Brogdon, who always seem to be banged up. Meanwhile, a player like Damian Lillard could get the benefit of the doubt, as last season’s abdominal issue marked the first time he’s missed an extended stretch due to injury.

Below, RotoWire’s Jeff Stotts takes an in-depth look at seven key players recovering from injury and offers his take on what fantasy managers should expect for the season ahead.

Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season after suffering a fractured fifth metatarsal in his foot during the offseason. He signed a lucrative extension this summer and is on track to be an active participant in training camp.

While Zion has the tools to be a top-50 fantasy player, availability obviously remains a glaring issue. Williamson has played in just 85 games over his three professional seasons primarily due to injuries to his foot and knee. Based on the nature of these injuries and ongoing concern about Zion’s size, New Orleans may elect to carefully manage his minutes and workload. Even if he avoids a third significant injury, 60-65 games played seems like a best-case scenario. Fantasy managers should be cautious not to over-draft the 2019 No. 1 overall pick.

The Grizzlies’ defensive anchor will be sidelined to start the year after undergoing surgery to address a stress fracture in his foot. The bone involved was not disclosed but the team’s recovery timeline estimated Jackson would miss four-to-six months.

Story continues

Like Zion, Jackson’s early career has been limited by injuries. He has averaged 26.3 games missed per season since being drafted and that is despite…

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Author : Yahoo Sports

Publish date : 2022-09-13 23:00:01

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