Dwight Howard sat out last night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after having a benign cyst drained and removed from his left ankle. Howard has been dealing with an ankle sprain in that same joint but it is unclear if the two are related. He is expected to be back on the court for the Houston Rockets on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ganglion cysts are benign balls of fluid that usually develop in the membrane that cover tendons and joints. They are most commonly seen in wrists and ankles but usually don’t cause any discomfort unless they are near a nerve, causing pressure and interference. The cause of these cysts are not well established but it is thought that they might be a blister response by the body to trauma or injury.
Up to half of all ganglion cysts disappear on their own but sometimes invasive procedures are warranted such as aspiration (draining of liquid from the cyst) or surgery. Home remedies that are not recommended include hitting the cyst with a heavy object or popping it with a something sharp.
Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders will be out until at least after the All-star break after suffering a fractured right orbital bone. The injury came early in Saturday night’s game against the Houston Rockets after Sanders caught an inadvertent elbow from James Harden to his right eye area. Sanders left the game and did not return.
Orbital fractures occur when trauma, from a car accident or a blunt object, is exerted on the bone of the eye socket. There are three main classifications of orbital fractures:
- Orbital Rim Fractures: affects the outer edges of the eye socket, which is the thickest area and therefore requires a great deal of force to fracture (such as motor vehicle accidents)
- Blowout Fractures: rim stays unaffected but the thinner floor of the eye socket sustains a fracture and restricts the mobility and anatomy of the eye
- Direct Orbital Floor Fractures: rim fractures that also affect the floor
Common symptoms include edema (swelling), bruising, visual deficiencies (blurry, double vision), limited range of motion of the affected eye, and numbness around the area of injury. Typical recovery for orbital fractures range from one to six weeks depending on the severity of the injury. Surgical options may be necessary if there are issues with eye movement but conservative treatments will usually suffice.
With coach Larry Drew’s inconsistent rotations, it is hard to pinpoint a player who will definitely benefit while Sanders is out. The most likely candidate appears to be Zaza Pachulia who got the start at center Monday night against the Boston Celtics and contributed 8 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST, and 2 STL in 32 minutes of action. Pachulia also put up a double-double after Sanders left the Houston game so there is some upside. Just don’t be surprised if he concedes his minutes to someone else in the next game.