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Deron Williams injury: how bad and how soon is he back?

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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Deron Williams is expected to be re-evaluated soon (if not already) by the Nets medical staff.  When he went down five days ago, the team said the team medical staff would take a look at his fractured rib cartilage in a week.  He's already missed three games.

An analysis of NBA rib injuries by a website devoted to pro sports players' health suggests that D-Will could be back soon. The analysis is in line with what a league source tells NetsDaily, that D-Will's absence is likely to last "weeks not months."

Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes writes...

A quick look at recent rib injuries in the NBA shows that on average isolated rib injuries only cost a player to sit for approximately 6 games (10-to-14 days). This number includes extreme cases like Gerald Wallace, who not only fractured a rib but suffered a collapsed lung at the time of injury. Internal organ damage is common with Williams’ injury but it appears he has avoided any damage to the lungs, spleen, liver, or diaphragm.

An accompanying graphic shows that the median for lost games is around four or five, as long as there aren't other complications Stotts described. Of course, all injuries aren't the same. Nor are all players' bodies the same. And as anyone who's suffered a rib injury can tell you, it's all about pain management, which often means a drug regimen which can affect play.

As Stotts suggested, it's likely that Williams will be fitted with a chest protector on return to play.