The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing with a ton of injuries as of late, but the hope is that they will soon be at full strength. Brandon Ingram is still recovering from a groin strain while both Brook Lopez and Kyle Kuzma played through some minor ailments on Friday night.
Ingram seems close to a return as he has been cleared for non-contact basketball activities. He has spoken about hoping to return to practice during this current Lakers road trip which would eventually lead to his return to the court.
That won’t be happening on Monday against the Indiana Pacers, as Ingram has already been ruled out. On the other hand, Kuzma and Lopez are listed as probable for the first game of the road trip, according to Mike Trudell:
Brandon Ingram (left groin strain) is out for Monday’s game at IND. The next game isn’t until Thursday at NOP; ideally, Ingram can practice w/contact between games, which is the next step. Meanwhile: Lopez (back tightness) and Kuzma (sprained ankle) are probable at IND.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 18, 2018
Monday’s game will be the ninth straight missed for Ingram, and the Lakers are 4-4 during his most recent absence. Ingram has been one of the team’s best players this season, so having Lopez and Kuzma available while he is hurt is even more important to replace what he brings.
Lopez has been excellent recently for the Lakers. Over the last six games he is averaging 22.2 points and two blocks while shooting 57.6 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from 3-point range. Kuzma has also had to step up, playing over 36 minutes per game in the month of March while averaging 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds and shooting 42.9 percent from deep.
Monday’s game against the Pacers will be a tough one as Indiana is in a fierce battle for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference. Without Ingram, the Lakers have to hope that Kuzma and Lopez will be available as it will take their efforts, and more from the rest of the team, to come out with a road win.
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