As the Los Angeles Lakers have played stretches without Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, due to injuries, Josh Hart has largely continued to push through a balky right knee.
A byproduct of an offseason filled with workouts and playing more Summer League games than the Lakers initially outlined, Hart has been dogged by tendinitis for much of his sophomore campaign. Though, he recently alluded to the injury being more complex.
Although the Lakers are on the verge of being eliminated from possibly reaching the playoffs and have shut down Ball and Ingram while more aggressively monitoring James’ minutes, Hart has continued to play whenever available.
Head coach Luke Walton attributed that to Hart’s competitiveness and not being at risk for making his injury worse. After appearing in four of five games on the road trip, Hart said he is due to meet with doctors about his knee, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’m meeting with my doctors this week and I’m going to figure stuff out. Just taking it a day at a time.”
As for the PRP injection he received prior to the All-Star break, Hart said it had minimal effect:
“Not really. I mean, there wasn’t much time for it to really work. I knew there was a chance that it worked, a chance that it didn’t work. Not enough time off for that (to be effective).”
Hart’s condition has at times led to Walton not playing him until the second half of games. In other cases, Hart has given what he could in the first two quarters, then not played after that.
Hart’s production has dropped compared to his rookie season, particularly his long-distance shooting. While Hart has refused to use his knee trouble as an excuse or reason for the drop off, the correlation is clear.