NBA Injury Report: Updates on Zion Williamson, Klay Thompson, Ben Simmons and More

NBA insider Keith Smith breaks down all of the key injury situations from around the league and provides updates for some of the league's top players.
Keith Smith
Tue, November 2, 12:52 PM EDT

NBA Injury Report: Updates on Zion Williamson, Klay Thompson, Ben Simmons and More

The 2021-22 NBA season started with a few big names on the shelf due to injuries. Unfortunately, even more players have joined that list over the season’s first week-and-a-half. Here’s where we stand with injuries for some of the game’s top players and top teams.

Updates on Every Key NBA Injury Situation

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans announced on Monday that Zion Williamson would have his broken right foot in two to three weeks. For now, Williamson is limited to 5-on-0 work and conditioning. If all goes well, the star forward could return around the beginning of December. Until then, New Orleans is going to continue to struggle. The Pels are 1-6 without Williamson, and the schedule is about to get even harder.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have gotten off to their best start since the Michael Jordan era. Unfortunately, they’ve now lost a key player for the season. Patrick Williams is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season due to a dislocated wrist. Williams is Chicago’s best defender and he’s been a key to their defensive success.

On the plus side, the Bulls bench has had some struggles, but has a major reinforcement coming soon. Coby White should return at some point in November. His scoring will be a boon to a reserve group that has struggled to put up points.

Philadelphia 76ers

We can now classify Ben Simmons’ situation as an injury, as that’s how the Sixers are treating it. Simmons is now practicing with the team, but it’s unknown when he’ll play in games. Simmons is dealing both with a sore back and getting himself mentally ready to play. And, yes, Simmons’ trade demand is still looming and has not been retracted.

To this point, Philadelphia has gone 4-2. At times the offense looks like it needs a creator like Simmons to make things easier for Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.

Toronto Raptors

When Pascal Siakam had surgery on a torn labrum in mid-June, he was ruled out for five months. The Raptors have said Siakam is making progress. We may see him return to practice in the next couple of weeks, with a late-November or early-December return to game action to follow.

The Raptors are off to a 4-3 start. Toronto gets after it defensively, but could really use Siakam to give them some additional scoring punch.

Indiana Pacers

For a second straight season, the Pacers have been beset by injuries to open the year. Caris LeVert is now back, but Indiana won’t push him minutes-wise or in back-to-backs. As LeVert returned, Malcolm Brogdon went down with a strained hamstring. And T.J. Warren is still out, as he recovers from a foot injury that cost him almost all of last season.

Without their perimeter scorers, Indiana has struggled to put up points. And the lineup inconsistency has impacted the defense as well. Look for those struggles to continue until things stabilize some.

Milwaukee Bucks

The defending champs have been a mess to open the year. Only Giannis Antetokounmpo has been immune among the Bucks' main players. Jrue Holiday is dealing with an ankle sprain. Brook Lopez is out with a sore back. And Donte DiVincenzo remains out, as he rehabs from a foot injury suffered last season. That’s three starters. Khris Middleton also recently missed a game with an illness.

Add it all up, and Milwaukee has gotten off to a 3-4 start. But this one will right itself once everyone is playing again. The Bucks are simply too good to not figure it out.

Memphis Grizzlies

After years of battling injuries, the Grizzlies are mostly healthy. But the one missing player is a big one. Dillon Brooks has been out with a fractured hand. He won’t be reevaluated for another week or so. That could put Brooks back in mid-November.

So far, Memphis has been terrific offensively, but that’s with Ja Morant carrying a very heavy load. The Grizzlies could use Brooks’ size and competitiveness on defense, in addition to his ability to take some of the scoring burden off Morant.

Orlando Magic

The Magic are a bad team, but a slew of injuries have held them down even more. Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz haven’t debuted this season. There’s still no timetable for either to return. Gary Harris has struggled to stay healthy to start the year with hamstring and ankle injuries. And veteran guard E’Twaun Moore, who Orlando wanted some shooting from, has been out with a sore knee.

The Magic are still playing hard and they’re competitive with their starters on the floor. It’s the lack of depth that is killing Orlando and will continue to do so.

Los Angeles Lakers

The injury list for the Lakers is too long to bother listing everyone. They’ve got seven players dealing with minor to major injuries. The reality is, until some of the players dealing with short-team injuries return, Los Angeles is going to continue to be up and down.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis are great, but Russell Westbrook is still a work in progress as far as fit goes. And the defensive cohesion isn’t there, in part because of the constant shuffling of personnel. It’ll get better eventually, but it may still be another month or so.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers continue to be without Kawhi Leonard and may be all season. That was a known factor, and something LA planned for. The team had hoped Serge Ibaka would be ready to go by now, but he’s still rehabbing from the back injury he suffered last season. In addition, Marcus Morris is now out with a sore knee.

The Clippers have good top-end talent, and their first layer of depth is solid. It’s getting into that second layer that’s been a problem, especially on offense. Paul George needs help, but it’s got to come from Reggie Jackson or Eric Bledsoe, not from the return of an injured player.

Golden State Warriors

Golden State got Jonathan Kuminga back recently, and James Wiseman has now been cleared to make a full return as well. The two young bigs will help some, but the return the Warriors are waiting on is Klay Thompson. All signs point to Thompson returning to practice in mid-November and then playing at some point in December.

The Warriors have crafted a great start defensively. They need a little scoring help for Stephen Curry. That’s where Thompson will eventually help. In the more near-term, look for Wiseman to get some run off the bench. He can help shore up some shoddy scoring from the reserve units right away.

Denver Nuggets

Denver has been fine defensively without Jamal Murray. The issues have been on the offensive end. Too many nights, it’s been Nikola Jokic, Will Barton and prayers. The hope was Michael Porter Jr. would buoy the team scoring-wise while Murray was out, but he’s gotten off to a slow start.

Assuming Porter can turn it around, Denver should be fine. Then if Murray returns before the playoffs, that’s like finding an unexpected $20 in your coat pocket.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz have been pretty healthy to start the season. Mike Conley isn’t going to play in back-to-backs, but that worked out fine last year. Rudy Gay hasn’t played yet, but is expected to debut this month.

Getting Gay on the floor will help the Jazz maintain their offensive proficiency. Eric Paschall is doing what’s asked of him, but Gay is simply a far superior option. That’s a scary thought, since the Jazz are rolling on both offense and defense to open the year.

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