The injury bug has hit the Los Angeles Lakers again as they lost two more players earlier this week, LeBron James and Avery Bradley.
A positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result has ruled James out for up to 10 days starting from Tuesday, when he missed the 117-92 win over the Sacramento Kings. That same day, the Lakers said Avery Bradley would sit the clash out due to a thumb injury.
The 31-year-old guard was expected to undergo further testing to determine if he would need to spend a significant amount of time away from the team if he required surgery on the sprained the UCL in his right thumb.
Frank Vogel revealed during Thursday’s practice that he won’t need surgery and will be available to play moving forward though.
“Avery got further evaluation and he is not going to need surgery, so that’s really positive news for us. He’s going to be available but is gonna play in a splint if we use him. I haven’t decided whether I’m gonna give him some further time to let it heal up some more. We’ll make that decision tomorrow, but he will not need surgery.”
This is positive news for the Lakers considering Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza are yet to make their season debuts after they were hurt in the preseason.
Amid the early injury wave, Bradley signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers right before the 2021-22 season’s tip-off. The guard started 16 of the 21 games he has played in this season, averaging 5.0 points and 2.5 assists in 22.2 minutes on the floor.
Vogel recently emphasized Bradley’s impact on the Lakers’ defense even though advanced metrics suggest the Texas alum had an average first quarter of the season, so it will be interesting to see if he goes back to him right away or if he always him more time to get fully healthy.
Vogel: Bradley is ‘one of our best containment guys’
After Bradley injured his thumb, Vogel said the Lakers’ wing defenders will need to step up and make up for the input of “one of the best containment guys” on the roster.
“It’s going to hurt to not have him out there,” Vogel said.
“Hopefully his is not something significant… But we have depth at the wings with guys that we believe in, so those guys are going to have to step up. Containment will be a bigger priority for those guys on the wings, guarding the ones, twos, and threes, and they’ve got to get the job done.”
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