A season that already had been marred, and arguably lost to injury, took yet another turn for the worse when the Los Angeles Lakers announced Brandon Ingram would not play in any of the remaining 17 games due to a deep venous thrombosis (blood clot) in his arm.
Ingram had missed the past two games with what the team described as right shoulder soreness. The Lakers’ list of injuries essentially reads as a who’s who; Lonzo Ball, Tyson Chandler, Josh Hart, Ingram, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson.
The severity of the injuries varied and so too did absences that correlated to them. In the case of Hart, he’s missed just over a handful of games because tendinitis. Though, the knee trouble is more complex.
“I wish it was just that,” Hart said when asked about playing through the tendinitis. “It’s a little bit more complicated than that. It’s just monitoring the pain level. I think that’s the biggest thing. There’s nothing I can do until the end of the season. Then I’ve got to maybe come to a decision about how I’m going to treat that.
“Nothing has really helped. It’s something that the damage to the tendinitis and to the tendon is something I have to deal with at the end of the season.
On top of naturally being competitive, Hart is further motivated to remain on the court in light of Ingram being lost and Ball being unlikely to return as well. “I’m going to play as hard as I can for however long I can,” Hart said.
“Obviously at the end of the day, I got to make sure I don’t make the damage worse. But I want to go out there and compete and play every game as best as I can.”
Hart received a PRP injection, which forced him to miss the final game before the All-Star break. He hasn’t used it as an excuse, the but the lingering issue has negatively impacted Hart’s effectiveness — particularly shooting.
After shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 39.6 percent behind the arc during his rookie season, Hart has regressed to 40.8 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively.