Virtually no one gets through an entire NBA season unscathed, but some players attract more attention than others when it comes to their injuries, often because there is a cumulative effect or because their injuries are so unusual. With that in mind, here are a handful of players to keep an eye on as the NBA season gets underway.Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers Injury: Fractured right navicular bone (in foot) When It happened: first surgery performed June 2014; second surgery performed August 2015Embiid was selected third overall in the 2014 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers despite undergoing surgery just one week prior to repair a stress fracture in his midfoot. Complicating the picture was the knowledge that injuries to the navicular often dont heal well due to the bones poor blood supply. In fact, this injury can be career-threatening, if not career-ending, to big men (former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming comes to mind). Still, the 76ers planned to keep Embiid sidelined for what would have been his rookie season and were optimistic he could eventually embark on his NBA career.It wasnt to be in the following season either, however. Persistent symptoms in his surgically repaired foot led to a second procedure in August 2015. The second surgery was performed by noted foot and ankle specialist Dr. Martin OMalley of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. During the second procedure the two original screws were replaced and bone grafting was added to reinforce the bone and offer further potential for healing. A similar timetable of five to eight months recovery was provided by the team, and Embiid sat out a second consecutive season. In December he was cleared to resume some workouts and he increased his activity steadily through the summer.Now entering his third year with the organization, Embiid is finally taking to the court. He entered training camp claiming his foot has healed and he has been introduced to NBA-level competition in the preseason, albeit with a minutes restriction. Those restrictions are likely to continue as the team enters the regular season not only to gradually introduce the surgically repaired foot to the stress of games but also to adapt Embiids conditioning. Its important to remember Embiid played only one year at the collegiate level (Kansas) prior to entering the draft and is now playing for the first time in three seasons. As far as the healing of his foot, while it appears that Embiid is doing well now, no one will be likely to breathe easy until he proves he can get through a season unscathed. There remains risk until proved otherwise.Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies Injury: Fractured right navicular bone (in foot) When it happened: injured Feb. 8, surgery performed Feb. 20Gasol missed the last two months of the season after suffering a non-displaced Type II navicular fracture in his right foot and subsequently undergoing surgery to repair it. Dr. Robert Anderson and Dr. Drew Murphy performed the procedure. The navicular bone is in the midfoot and is considered a keystone of the arch. It can be problematic for a fracture here to heal as the bone does not have a great blood supply, hence the decision to surgically stabilize it and improve the overall chances for healing. The fracture was nondisplaced, meaning the bone remained in alignment, another factor in Gasols favor when it comes to healing. At the time of surgery, Gasol was projected to make a full recovery.Gasol was initially projected to be away from basketball activities for 16 weeks, thus forcing him to withdraw from the Rio Olympics. The decision paid off for Gasols NBA season, however, as he focused on his rehab and was rewarded with clearance to return for the start of training camp. He did leave one preseason game in the middle of October with a scare, but it turned out to be bruising of an adjacent bone, not an aggravation of his original injury. In fact, Gasol was able to make it back for the teams final preseason game. David Fizdale has indicated Gasol will be on some type of minutes restriction (without saying how many minutes) when the season opens as the team exercises caution with his surgically repaired foot. Fizdale also noted Gasol is likely to get scheduled nights off during the season, another component of trying to ensure his health long-term.These fractures in the middle of the foot are never ideal and have been career-ending for some, but the fact that Gasol has played in games is an excellent sign. At 31 years old, he can be expected to have intermittent stiffness and soreness in the area, which could impact his minutes played from time to time. The Grizzlies have already acknowledged as much noting he will start with a minutes restriction with planned time off throughout the season.Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers Injury: partially torn left quadriceps tendon When it happened: original injury on Dec. 25, 2015; aggravated April 25Griffin suffered a partial tear of his left quadriceps tendon, which anchors the large muscle comprising the front of the thigh to the tibia (or shinbone). The quadriceps (or quad) is responsible for running and jumping power as well as the ability to decelerate sharply. The injury forced Griffin to miss more than half of the last regular season and a portion of the playoffs.Griffin underwent a procedure on April 27 to enhance the tendon healing, and an injection of bone marrow aspirate then followed with extensive rehabilitation. The good news is that the time to recover has no doubt done wonders for Griffins overall health. He was a regular during training camp and played in the preseason without issue.Its worth noting that when Griffin suffered a knee injury back in the 2011-12 season (a torn medial meniscus), it was to the same knee. He also fractured the patella (kneecap) in his left knee in 2009 during the summer before his rookie season. Griffin was forced to wait a year for his NBA debut but he returned from the patellar fracture to earn Rookie of the Year honors. He is just 27 years old with plenty of playing time ahead of him as long as the injuries do not continue to accumulate. The tendon should have had enough recovery time to be a nonissue at the outset of the season although Griffins history of multiple injuries in that region of his left leg makes him a greater risk for reinjury, particularly the soft tissue variety.Chandler Parsons, F, Memphis Grizzlies Injury:?right medial meniscus tear and surgery When it happened: injured March 18, arthroscopic surgery performed March 25Parsons is still working his way back from his meniscus repair. Repair of the meniscus is always preferable to partial removal, when viable, because the meniscus serves as a cushion within the knee joint. Considering that Parsons has already had a microfracture procedure on the same knee, there is interest in preserving as much cushion as possible to guard against further degenerative changes. The challenge after a meniscal repair is restricting the activity early in the rehab process as the repair attempts to heal. Typically weight bearing is limited early as is flexion, or bending of the knee beyond 90 degrees. As the healing progresses, more motion is allowed and loading is increased, but a complete recovery can range from four to six months or even beyond.As of the start of training camp, Parsons was increasing his activity but was not cleared for full practices. Over the course of camp he continued to progress, starting with clearance for contact in the first week of October, but he has not yet been cleared for game action. His return appears close, but there is no specific targeted date. Although the reports of Parsons progress have been positive thus far, there is no way to know just how he will respond to game action. Perhaps the more important question is how well his knee, which has already endured two significant procedures, will hold up over the course of a full season.John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards Injury: bilateral knee surgeries When it happened: Surgery performed May 5Wall underwent two different procedures for his knees in May with Dr. Richard Parker at the Cleveland Clinic Marymount. He had a patellar tendon debridement on his left knee and an arthroscopic lavage on his right. Of the two, the procedure performed on Walls left knee was more complex and reflects a more serious condition. Debridement is a term that signifies a cleanup type of procedure of his left tendon, the removal of scar tissue and calcification in an effort to try to normalize the tendon tissue. Ultimately, the healing response triggered by the procedure and the associated rehabilitation should help the health of his tendon long-term. Lavage, the procedure Wall underwent on his right knee, literally means a washing of the knee. Essentially, during the arthroscopic procedure, the knee is washed free of debris that has accumulated in the joint.The 26-year-old guard was able to resume running late in the summer. He steadily increased his sport-specific activity up to the point where he was able to participate in all training camp elements. Conditioning in a return from surgery on both knees proved to be one of the biggest challenges. Wall played in the last five preseason games and ultimately progressed to 27 minutes of play by the time the preseason drew to a close. He expressed confidence he would be able to play upwards of 30 minutes in games when the season opens while acknowledging he might still need intermittent breaks as he continues conditioning himself back into game shape. 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Orlando Cruz say he hopes to inspire all gay athletes by defeating Terry Flanagan to win the WBO lightweight title in Cardiff on Saturday.The 35-year-old Puerto Rican has fought nine times since coming out in 2012 and says he hopes his success will give others the courage to open up about their sexuality.Cruz will be fighting at the lightweight limit for the first time on Saturday and would become the first openly gay world champion if he succeeds. He lost a world featherweight title bid against Orlando Salido in Las Vegas in October 2013.Cruz said: I want to inspire the gay community by becoming a world champion on Saturday.Everyone has been very supportive since I came out. I have the support of my family, friends and fans.When I look at my story, it makes me hopeful that more people will be inspired to come out. I want that other [gay] athletes are noot scared to walk into the society.dddddddddddd. Dont be scared. Be happy with your life, and happy with your decision. All people are the same.Right now my focus is fully on the big fight on Saturday and winning the WBO lightweight belt.Saturday will represent Cruzs first fight in Europe in his 30-fight professional career. Since coming out he has fought in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico.And no matter the outcome of the fight the challenger insists the respect between the two men is mutual.Terry is a great champion and a real peoples person, Cruz said of Flanagan, who had previously told ESPN of his admiration of the Puerto Rican.?More importantly, he respects my life and my choices. He sees the man boxing him and that is it. ' ' '