Mar 15, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) is helped off the court after getting injured in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Basketball: Pistons' Andre Drummond leaves Saturday's game with neck injury


andre drummond

Pistons’ center Andre Drummond left Saturday’s game with a neck injury. He did not return (Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

Andre Drummond suffered what looked to be either a neck or head injury when the Detroit Pistons took on the Indiana Pacers at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday night.

The Pistons — and fantasy basketball owners — will brace themselves for any news that may arrive in the coming hours regarding the young center’s health.

Drummond, 20, is having an All-Star-caliber season in 2013-14.  The ninth overall pick of the 2012 Draft is averaging 13.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game.  He is third in the NBA in rebounds per game and is second in field goal percentage, shooting 61.7 percent from the floor.

Just five minutes into the game, Drummond and Pacers Roy Hibbert and Paul George were fighting for a loose ball when it looks like Drummond was inadvertently struck by Hibbert’s left elbow.  Drummond immediately grabbed the back of his head and fell to the ground, where he laid for several minutes:

Drummond exited the contest after playing just five minutes, finishing with four points and three rebounds.

The Pistons are sure to exercise a lot of caution with their talented young center.

Last year, Drummond missed nearly the entire second half of the season after sustaining a stress fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebra in his back.  Due to that, the nature of his current injury can’t be taken lightly.  While the Pistons are just four games back of the final playoff spot in the East, Drummond’s long-term health is more important to the organization.

On the fantasy front, Josh Smith and Greg Monroe will reap the benefits of any games Drummond needs to miss, but since they are 100 percent owned in every leagues, owners may have to look further down the Pistons’ depth chart.

Charlie Villanueva and Jonas Jerebko (both 100 percent available in ESPN.com leagues) are likely to receive some extra minutes.

Both players are big men with 3-point shooting capability.  Villanueva has been used sparingly this season, but has averaged 1.1 treys in his nine-year career.  Jerebko made 0.5 treys per game last season.

Villanueva’s best season came in 2008-09, when he averaged 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.  Though it seems like he’s been around forever, the former UConn Huskies’ star is still just 29 years old.



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