Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's the middle of the 2008-09 NBA fantasy season and it appears that we are getting close to the return of some high-profile players which will help you down the stretch.
Monta Ellis, G, Golden State was the first of seven "big" name players to return to the court. Ellis came back on Friday, January 23rd and put together a 20-point outing. He added three assists, three rebounds and only turned it over one time. Not bad after four months off because of an off-season moped accident.
Houston forward Ron Artest missed a couple of weeks with an ankle injury and he came back with a vengeance - posting 24 points and nine rebounds on January 25th. But Artest's ankle has begun to act up again and he is listed as day-to- day for Wednesday's battle with Philadelphia, making him a tough start in your lineup. Artest's teammate Yao Ming is due back from a two-game absence.
Carmelo Anthony, F, Denver is due back on Friday. He is recovering from a fractured right hand. Melo's 21.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 3.6 apg were missed by his fantasy owners, but the team managed to go 6-3, including wins in the last three, in his absence.
Another star, Baron Davis , G, Los Angeles Clippers is almost ready to return. Davis has missed the last 13 games while recovering from a bruised tailbone. In his 30 games with the Clippers, Davis is averaging 17.3 ppg, 8.0 apg and 3.4 rpg. It is about 50-50 that he will return this evening against the Chicago Bulls, , but you might be wise to hold him on the sidelines until he proves he can play an entire game.
Al Horford, C, Atlanta is still recovering from a bruised knee and is still 1-2 weeks away from getting back on the court. Horford, while not a big scorer, has helped in the rebounding (8.7 rpg) and blocks (1.6 bpg) categories.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cleveland is recovering from a small fracture in his left ankle, but is hoping to return to the court on Thursday at Orlando.
Finally, there is Carlos Boozer, F, Utah who is still listed as trying to return after the All-Star break. But Boozer has always been very careful with his return to the court after an injury, so it would not surprise anyone if he didn't begin playing again until the end of February or the first week in March.