Roads to recovery: Stoudemire, Dunleavy, Jefferson, Griffin

  • Stoudemire is eyeing a near return to real basketball action.  (Flickr/Keith Allison)

    Stoudemire is eyeing a close return to real basketball action. (Flickr/Keith Allison)

    Amar’e Stoudemire took to the court for the first time Tuesday since having surgery to remove fluid from his right eye six weeks ago, according to Paul Coro at azcentral.com.  He had surgery on that eye back in February to repair a detached retina.  Though Stoudemire was limited to shooting and conditioning on Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns head athletic trainer, Aaron Nelson, said he should be ready for pickup games in two weeks.  Chances are, Stoudemire will be ready to go at the start of the season, and after a frustrating summer filled with recovery and trade rumors, expect STAT to have an even bigger chip on his shoulder this year.
  • Mike Dunleavy appears closer to returning after having surgery on his right knee in March.  Back then, he wasn’t expected to return until 2010, but there seems to be more hope of a return by the beginning of the season, according to Mike Wells at IndyStar.com.  Dunleavy dunked for the first time Tuesday.  When healthy, the versatile guard-forward is a key player for the Indiana Pacers and a potential top-25 fantasy player.  Don’t knock him up your draft list just yet – if the team is careful with him, a 2010 return is still likely.  Monitor Dunleavy’s progress and don’t forget about him just yet.
  • Al Jefferson said he is “90 percent” recently, adding that “I know for a fact that I will be ready for training camp. I will be 100 percent, nonstop, I’ll go two-a-days,” according to Sid Hartman at StarTribune.com.   The stud forward-center for the Minnesota Timberwolves missed the last 32 games of last season because of a right knee injury.  is an absolute fantasy monster.  His health is, of course, a major concern.  If Jefferson really is 100 percent by the start of the season, it’s easy to make the case that he’s a top-10 pick.  It seems very likely that Jefferson will be ready to go at full-speed by game one of the season, so feel free to place his name high on your draft list.
  • Blake Griffin has practiced shooting while avoiding contact drills after straining his right shoulder last month, according to Mark Medina at LATimes.com.  The overall first pick of this year’s NBA draft seems poised to put up decent numbers for the Los Angeles Clippers this season, and this little bump in the road shouldn’t hinder him at all.  Don’t go crazy and draft Griffin too high, but he’s definitely worth a utility or bench spot on most fantasy rosters this year.

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