Bush’s knee making him a risk in fantasy drafts

(Bill Haber / Associated Press)

Reggie Bush's surgically-repaired knee is apparently giving him more problems during training camp. (Bill Haber / Associated Press)

When the New Orleans Saints drafted Reggie Bush back in 2006, he was considered the next Gale Sayers based on his skills and abilites.

Well, the USC product hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations heading into this fourth NFL season. The problem hasn’t been a lack of talent, but his proneness to injuries. He’s missed a combined 10 games over the past two seasons, including six in 2008, due to knee ailments.

Bush had microfracture knee surgery in the offseason to repair the damage, and reports on his status for training camp and the start of the regular season were positive.

That is, until Wednesday.

Bush left the morning practice and later returned with his knee wrapped in ice. The ice was removed after a while, but he did not participate in further drills. He was also seen walking with a slight limp. Bush had already been sitting out every other practice in order to rest his knee.

“He’s doing well,” coach Sean Payton said of Bush. “I’m just trying to be smart about the amount of work I give him so that it doesn’t become a bigger factor when we get ready to play in the season. But he’d play this evening if we were playing. … I’m not concerned with Reggie at all.”

Payton might not be concerned, but it’s hard for fantasy leaguers to ignore this news. Despite his potential value in drafts, especially in PPR leagues, right now it’s hard to envision a scenario where Bush will be healthy enough to play in all 16 games.

That makes him one of the more prominent risk-reward players in fantasy drafts. If the knee continues to be a problem in camp, it might be a good idea to avoid him altogether.

The Saints running back to target, regardless of Bush’s status, is Pierre Thomas. He was a fantasy monster down the stretch last season and is now atop the team’s depth chart heading into 2009.

He’ll be worth as much as a second- or third-round pick in seasonal formats.

Have a burning question for Michael Fabiano on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section below or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com, and the best questions will be answered throughout the season right here on NFL.com!

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