While the Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with a rash of serious or long-term injuries to Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, the overall state of the team has been impacted by Josh Hart pushing through tendinitis in his right knee.
Hart’s production tailed off in January and thus far into February. While not intending to use it as an excuse for his play, Hart recently revealed he was dogged by back spams. Less than two weeks later, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Hart asked to come out of a game because of knee tendinitis.
The Lakers took precaution by limiting Hart in practices and shootarounds, instead having him focus on receiving treatment. The trouble caused Hart to miss Tuesday’s blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Following the game, Walton explained that was a decision made by the team’s medical personnel and added he is hopeful Hart will return Thursday against the Boston Celtics, per Spectrum SportsNet:
“Medical staff said he’s out. Knee is killing him, so give him a night off. See how he feels [Wednesday]. Hopefully he can play again Thursday.”
The Lakers injury report for Thursday lists Hart as questionable. It also includes James (load management), Kyle Kuzma (left hip strain) and Ivica Zubac (avulsion fracture, left middle finger) each considered probable for the matchup.
Hart has attributed the knee tendinitis to a rigorous offseason schedule that was filled with workouts and participating in the inaugural California Classic as well as Las Vegas Summer League. The Lakers initially planned to limit the number of summer games the second-year guard would play in.
Though he may still be bothered by knee trouble, Hart will at least have some clarity whenever he returns as it will come after the NBA Trade Deadline passes at 12 p.m. PT on Thursday. He’s been among the players mentioned in offers to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.
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