The Los Angeles Lakers announced that Alex Caruso has been diagnosed with a mild concussion and will be placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
Caruso was forced to leave Friday night’s win over the Indiana Pacers in the second quarter after falling on his head diving at a ball. He was diagnosed with a head contusion and was evaluated for a concussion, with the results not be being what he and the Lakers had hoped.
The Lakers have been extremely short-handed as of late, playing without Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, the latter of which was just ruled out for two more games due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
While the team said further updates will be provided when appropriate, the likelihood of Caruso clearing the concussion protocol before Monday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors seems low.
Even though the Lakers could use Caruso’s defensive intensity and timely shooting, head injuries are not something to rush back from. He has also dealt with neck injuries in the past, so L.A. will certainly be cautious. Getting healthy for the postseason is what’s important for the Lakers right now, and Caruso is as important as anyone when it matters most.
Vogel pleased with Horton-Tucker
If Caruso is forced to miss time though, then other guards will have to step up in his absence. Talen Horton-Tucker could be in for a big opportunity as the second-year pro had already entered the rotation and now could be in for more minutes while Caruso is out.
At Saturday’s practice, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel evaluated what has been an up-and-down season for Horton-Tucker.
“Talen plays like a young player,” Vogel said. “He’s fearless, I love that part about him, he was trying to dunk on the leading shot-blocker last night, making some good plays. But he certainly makes his fair share of mistakes as well and that’s part of having a young player.
“But his attitude, his willingness to get better, his confidence in himself, it’s everything you want in a young player and we’re very pleased with what he has brought to the table for us this year.”
With a five-game in seven-day stretch this upcoming week, the Lakers could use Horton-Tucker’s young legs to carry the load off the bench in what was an already-depleted unit.
L.A. also has an open roster spot, so signing a guard to a 10-day contract is also an option.
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