While the Los Angeles Lakers were preparing for the third stop of their four-game road trip, some of the excitement and optimism around the team came to a halt when Josh Hart was struck on his left hand during practice.
Hart was sent for X-rays, which revealed a fracture of the fourth metacarpal. He was ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat, and it was presumed he was likely Saturday’s contest with the San Antonio Spurs as well, but Hart’s availability beyond that was not yet determined.
He returned to Los Angeles to have the injury examined, which led to the decision of undergoing surgery, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Josh Hart is going to have surgery tomorrow on his broken left hand. He’ll be re-evaluated every couple weeks and “zero rush” to play him, Luke Walton says.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 1, 2018
Considering the Lakers only have 22 games remaining on their schedule and that the team will not rush Hart’s return, his season may have effectively come to an end.
It’s a key loss for the Lakers however long Hart is out, as he assumed a starting role nearly one month ago and has been among the more productive players since that point.
In 10 games over that span, Hart had scored in double-figures eight times and produced four double-doubles. He set a career high with 14 rebounds against the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 2, which marked the beginning of Hart’s stretch of starts.
Hart is averaging 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 55 games (20 starts) this season. The Lakers are suddenly light on depth, as Corey Brewer was officially waived on Wednesday.
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