Perhaps more so than most teams, the Los Angeles Lakers can ill-afford injuries to key contributors because of the youth on their roster. Life without Lonzo Ball and Brook Lopez was not kind to the team, and now the Lakers’ health took multiple hits Wednesday night.
Although Brandon Ingram returned after missing two games with a sprained ankle, Lonzo Ball remained sidelined by a knee sprain. It was Ball’s second-straight game missed, and the Lakers are now 0-8 without their starting point guard this season.
A few minutes before halftime, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson gave chase to a loose ball. Roberson rolled into Caldwell-Pope’s leg, causing his right foot to bend inward.
He attempted to warm up for the second half but was ruled out with an Achilles tendon strain. Then late in the game, Kyle Kuzma checked out a few minutes after grabbing at his left hand.
According to team reporter Mike Trudell, Kuzma suffered a sprained joint on his non-shooting hand:
Kyle Kuzma will not return due to a left hand fifth MP (metacarpal phalangeal) joint sprain.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 18, 2018
Kuzma had seven points, one rebound, two assists and one steal before checking out for the night.
Aside from further cutting away at their depth, losing Kuzma for any period of time would be a significant loss for the Lakers considering his importance to the team. He entered the night averaging a team-best 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Kuzma previously dealt with a quad injury but didn’t miss any time. He did sit against the Golden State Warriors in November due to back spasms.
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