The injury bug has hit the Los Angeles Lakers hard during the 2020-21 season as nearly half the roster has missed significant time at one point or another.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been out of the lineup with ankle and calf injuries, respectively, while Marc Gasol missed an extended stretch due to health and safety protocols. The Lakers were fortunate to land Andre Drummond after he was bought out, but the big man was injured in his first game with the team after losing a toenail on his right big toe in the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Drummond has missed the past three contests as he nurses his toe injury, but head coach Frank Vogel said prior to their game against the Toronto Raptors that there is a chance he can suit up when Los Angeles plays the Miami Heat on Thursday. “Andre will not be available [against the Raptors],” Vogel said. “He still has some tenderness in the toe. Hopefully, he plays against Miami.”
The 27-year-old seemed in good spirits after he got hurt and Vogel added that his toe injury has gotten better the past few days. “Yes, it has improved,” Vogel said. “Our practice yesterday was really that of offensive drill work. Nothing live and he did do some of that, but still had some tenderness. So we’re going to give it another game.”
Drummond then seemed to confirm on Instagram that he is planning on playing:
The center was originally expected to only miss a couple of games and a return against the Heat would essentially be right in line with the schedule. Getting Drummond back would be a big boost for the Lakers, especially considering they will be playing against Bam Adebayo, who has been having a solid season for Miami.
Even though Drummond looks like he will be back on the floor soon, the team will need to continue to stay together if they hope to tread water in the standings. Their upcoming schedule is not very forgiving, so it is important they do their best to steal a couple of games in order to keep pace with the rest of the Western Conference.
Gasol should still have role with Lakers when Andre Drummond returns
Gasol has been understandably frustrated after essentially being benched when Drummond came on board. However, in the latter’s absence Gasol has performed admirably and shown flashes of the player the Lakers thought they would be getting.
Vogel has already said Gasol should be ready to play on any given night, but the veteran has proven he deserves to play regardless of the big man situation.
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