Overview of Pelicans F Ryan Anderson’s Cervical Stinger

Ryan Anderson, the starting power forward for the New Orleans Pelicans, sustained a “cervical stinger” in last night’s game after running into Gerald Wallace of the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter.  Anderson was on his back for several minutes before the medical staff brought out a stretcher to help stabilize his head and neck.  As with any injuries relating to the head and neck, it is a scary situation until we receive confirmation from the athlete that they are conscious, aware, and have function of their extremities.  Judging by the way Anderson reacted as he was carted off the court, hopefully his injury is not a serious one.


A cervical stinger or burner is an injury that affects the nerve roots from the cervical spine or neck.  The nerves involved are bundled in a region called the brachial plexus, which is a group of nerves in the neck.  Any sudden compression or traction force on the region surrounding the plexus, such as the one sustained by Anderson when his left shoulder/neck area collided with Wallace, can create a burning or stinging sensation from the shoulder  down to the hand.  In addition, symptoms of weakness, numbness, and tingling in the affected extremity can also be present.  Majority of the time this condition will resolve on its own without the need for surgery.  A protective neck collar is used to help stabilize and support the cervical spine to let the body heal itself.  Here’s to Ryan Anderson making a full and speedy recovery.


Overview of Clippers G Chris Paul’s Separated Shoulder

Chris Paul injured his right shoulder in the third quarter of last night’s Clippers vs Mavs game.  Here’s the video proof.

Official word is that it is a “separated shoulder”, which means CP3 might be out of commission for at least 3-5 weeks.  “There goes my fantasy team!” was probably a common reaction from many across the nation this morning.  I was certainly one of them as I scrambled to check who was left in free agency to pick up the slack.  But more on that in a minute.

First, let’s take a closer look at separated shoulders and what makes them so painful.  Shoulder separation is there is a downward force applied to the top of the shoulder, specifically, on the acromioclavicular joint.  In CP3’s situation, you can see that he fell and landed on the top of his right shoulder.  This causes a stretching or even possible tear of the ligament that connects the scapula (shoulder blade) to the calvicle (collarbone).  The distinction between a separation and a dislocation is that the latter occurs when the humerus (upper arm bone) separates from the scapula at the glenohumeral joint.  Regardless, both cause scream-inducing pain.

Paul’s 3-5 week recovery period is dependent on the severity of his separation during his evaluation.  The most common method of determining the grade of the injury is by shooting x-rays of the shoulder.  There are six grades, which range from mild to complete separation:

  • Grade 1: slight displacement of the joint and the AC ligament may be stretched or partially torn
  • Grade 2: partial dislocation of the joint and the AC ligament is torn but the coracoclavicular ligaments are intact
  • Grade 3: complete joint dislocation with complete tears of the AC and coracoclavicular ligaments
  • Grades 4-6: uncommon but most severe, with fractures present

The hope is that Paul has no more than a grade 3 separation as those do not require surgery and instead will heal with ample rest, ice, pain-meds if necessary, and rehab exercises.  In the meantime, who should you look to pick-up to try and replace his production in fantasy?  If you’re like me in a 14-team league, the pickings are slim, but here’s a quick list to get you started.

  • Darren Collison – LAC: Obvious choice as he gets the nod to start for Paul.  He took over after Paul left last night and finished with 20 PTS, 4 AST, and 3 REB.  He won’t be making many 3s for you but he is a must start if still available.
  • Kendall Marshall – LAL: In his first start last night after Farmar went down, he put up 20 PTS, 15 AST, 6 REB, 2 3PTM, and only 1 TO.  Seeing as how he is the only healthy point guard left on the Lakers’ roster, now is a good time to snatch him up.
  • Jarrett Jack – CLE: Kyrie Irving is day-to-day with a knee injury and Jack is starting in his place.  Averages of 15/7/5 shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to expect.

Get well soon because we can all use a bit more of this in our lives: