The Los Angeles Lakers are only one game into the season and have already had some tough injury luck with key players like Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington and Kendrick Nunn going down.
Ariza and Horton-Tucker were both forced to undergo surgery so will miss an extended period of time. Ellington, on the other hand, was ruled out for Friday’s game against the Phoenix Suns although Frank Vogel revealed that he is getting closer to making his return.
Nunn is perhaps the most concerning of the bunch as he was dealing with a minor ankle sprain that wasn’t supposed to keep him out very long. Vogel revealed after Thursday’s practice that he has now suffered a bone bruise in his right knee though and will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks.
“He developed some soreness in his knee over the last few days when he was working to return to play from the ankle and they did some imaging and found a bone bruise they’re concerned about. So he’s gonna be out and likely gonna be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks.”
Without Nunn, the Lakers are really low on depth in their backcourt, although the recent addition of Avery Bradley will help alleviate that.
Vogel discussed how the Lakers plan to replace Nunn and the other players that will miss time moving forward.
“The great thing is we have depth,” Vogel said. “If everybody’s healthy we’re gonna have to make some difficult decisions as far as which guys to go to and it’s just brought clarity to those decisions. It’s not a situation where we don’t believe in the guys we have, we have the right depth to still get the job done.
“We don’t feel like that’s gonna limit us. But obviously there’s a lot of versatility with the skillsets of Wayne and Talen and Trevor and Nunn, all these guys that it will take all 82 games to get the advantage of, but right now we’ll use the guys in uniform to get the job done.”
Many people criticized the Lakers’ age this summer and while they may feel validated now that they’re dealing with all these injuries, it’s actually a lot of their young players that have been getting hurt.
Nunn was expected to come in and play significant minutes during the regular season at both guard positions. While his timeline has now been set back a bit, he will still have a chance to make an impact upon his return.
Bradley appreciative of tribute video
Before the Lakers decided to bring Bradley back, they gave him a tribute video when the Lakers hosted the Golden State Warriors in the preseason. He recently expressed appreciation for that video as well as the opportunity to be back with the organization.
Given the injuries to Nunn and others, Bradley may play a significant role right away on this team.
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