The Los Angeles Lakers have suffered yet another blow on the injury front, losing Austin Reaves and Rajon Rondo ahead of the blockbuster clash against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Reaves and Rondo both suffered a minor hamstring injury but serious enough to rule them out for at least one game. The Lakers had to make two-way player Sekou Doumbouya active to have 10 players available for the clash.
Meanwhile, LeBron James is still nursing his abdomen injury whole Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn will remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The injuries disrupted L.A.’s first weeks of the 2021-22 season, playing a factor in the team’s average 7-5 start. But head coach Frank Vogel doesn’t want to use the early-season crisis as an excuse for the underwhelming results.
“It’s just part of this league,” Vogel said before the game against the Heat. “Guys get injured all the time and it’s just part of it.
“You want them to be in there, but if they’re not, you’ve got other guys who can get the job done. No one is feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got a lot of guys out, but we’ve got a lot of guys that can play too so we’re coming here to win a game tonight.”
Vogel acknowledged that last year, the Lakers learned the hard way how a pile-up of injuries can derail a team’s season. Nevertheless, the coach said he still tries to concentrate on what L.A. can get out of the difficult period despite the adversity.
“I think there’s injuries every year so we’re accustomed to what that looks like,” Vogel said.
“There is always a silver lining in it, and that’s if we had a fully healthy team then everybody on our team wouldn’t be playing, you know what I mean? So we’re getting an opportunity to get extended minutes for guys we believe in and all those minutes just help them grow and get comfortable in our system, you know what I mean?
“So definitely a silver lining in it.”
Reaves to miss at least two weeks due to hamstring injury
Vogel said that the injuries shouldn’t keep Rondo and Reaves out of the game for too long after missing Wednesday’s game. The Lakers then sent out another update on Reaves though, and the expectation is he’ll miss at least two weeks with a left hamstring strain.
This is hardly ideal for the Lakers, but as Vogel said, no one is feeling sorry for them so it will be up to the players that are healthy to pick up the slack while Reaves and others are out.
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