The 2022-23 regular season hasn’t even started yet for the Los Angeles Lakers, and they are already seeing key players go down with injuries.
Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Lonnie Walker IV, and Troy Brown Jr. all missed time in the preseason with various ailments. However, Brown is the only one expected to miss regular season games.
The Lakers have also been without Dennis Schroder for most of the camp as he had trouble getting a visa to return from Germany and EuroBasket’s summer tournament.
After returning to the Lakers, Schroder only played limited minutes in one regular season game before suffering an injury himself. The Lakers did various tests on the point guard and concluded that he needed a procedure to keep Schroder out for at least the first month of the season.
The team announced that Schroder underwent successful surgery on Monday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his right thumb. Schröder is expected to be reevaluated by team doctors in approximately three weeks.
This is both good and bad news for the Lakers, as while it’s not ideal that Schroder could miss a month of action, it seems they avoided the worst with this injury. It had previously been reported that the Lakers feared Schroder suffered a long-term injury.
The good thing for the Lakers is that their roster is very guard-heavy, so they can still put together a rotation that includes Westbrook, Walker, Austin Reaves, Patrick Beverley, and Kendrick Nunn in the backcourt in Schroder’s absence.
The loss of Schroeder didn’t change the opinion of bookies at NonGamStopBets, who still have the Lakers +2500 underdogs to win the 2023 NBA Championship.
That’s still light years behind the favorite Golden State Warriors (+600), Boston Celtics (+650), Milwaukee Bucks (+650), Los Angeles Clippers (+700), Brooklyn Nets (+800), Phoenix Suns (+1200), and four other teams.
Davis praises Schroder’s defensive ability
Now teammate for the second time, Anthony Davis, is very aware of what Schroder will bring to the Lakers, specifically on the defensive end of the floor.
“He’s great on the ball,” the Lakers forward said after a recent practice. “Even today, first day in practice, and we all took three dribbles, and we had to give it up, so with him and [Patrick Beverley] in that backcourt defensively, that’s what he brings – 94 feet.”
“Pat will probably get mad because he calls himself Mr. 94, but both of those guys can contain the ball. He brings a different dynamic to our team, for sure.”
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