Although Josh Hart managed to return from an in-game ankle sprain suffered against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he did not appear to be his usual self and has struggled in the two games since, going scoreless in both and playing just 14 and 15 minutes, respectively.
Hart was diagnosed with strained ankle tendon and initially deemed questionable for the matchup with the Utah Jazz. He participated in pregame warmups and was cleared to play. Lakers head coach Luke Walton later noted he didn’t believe Hart had his typical movement but wasn’t facing a minutes restriction for the game with the Orlando Magic.
Now after a second game of playing through the minor injury, the 23-year-old is still dealing with lingering effects of the strain. “He showed up and got treatment and he’s lifting weights now,” Walton said after Monday’s practice.
“I would expect him to (play Tuesday) but we’ll see. Marco (Nuñez, athletic trainer) told me his ankle was hurting this morning, so there’s no reason not to let him rest and get treatment.”
Walton conceded like with other players, there is consideration being given to holding Hart out of action until he can make a full recovery. “That’s a discussion I have with the medical staff any time anyone is fighting through something,” Walton said. “That’s a discussion.”
Including when he suffered the ankle sprain, Hart is averaging just 17 minutes, 1.3 points and 3.0 assists over the last three games.