Having endured a grueling stretch in which they’ve been on the road for the majority of their games and saddled by injuries, hope may be on the horizon for the Los Angeles Lakers. If all goes well, they could see the return of Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart before week’s end.
Ingram has been out since March 3 due to a strained groin suffered two nights prior on a late foul by Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow. Ingram was initially diagnosed with a hip flexor strain, but an MRI revealed the true nature of his injury.
There was hope Ingram would play in last week’s game against the Indiana Pacers, but he wasn’t able to get the requisite practice session in beforehand. He progressed to playing 2-on-2 but was held out for the final game of the road trip.
With the Lakers back in Los Angeles, the sophomore forward advanced to games of 3-on-3 and is considered questionable for Wednesday’s matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, per team reporter Mike Trudell:
Brandon Ingram played 3-on-3 today, and was able to get up and down the court, the most he’s done to this point. He’s listed as “questionable” for tomorrow’s game against the Mavs.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 27, 2018
The Lakers are 5-7 during Ingram’s absence, and have just one win in their last six contests. Los Angeles has nine games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
While the team undeniably would receive a significant boost on both ends of the floor with Ingram returning, head coach Luke Walton has maintained the team would not rush him back. Ingram leads the Lakers with 16.2 points per game this season.
Kyle Kuzma has not only been pressed into action at the small forward, but also been among the starters called upon to log heavy minutes in recent games. That’s been counterintuitive to what Walton is aiming to accomplish with Kuzma, considering his sprained right ankle that hasn’t fully healed.