Lakers Injury Update: Frank Vogel ‘Hopeful’ Kyle Kuzma Can Potentially Return Against Nuggets
Kyle Kuzma, Lakers
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Kyle Kuzma figured to be the third scoring option for the Los Angeles Lakers behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

However, a foot injury Kuzma suffered during his time with Team USA Basketball forced him to miss the first four games of the season. Even upon returning, he looked like a player who was still working himself back into shape and it showed as he did not have the same offensive rhythm to his game that fans were accustomed to seeing.

The 24-year-old eventually began to flash the scoring ability the Lakers were high on coming into his third season, but a nagging ankle injury put him back on the shelf and he has remained out of the lineup since.

According to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times, Frank Vogel believes Kuzma is relatively close to returning:

“He’s ramping up his activity,” Vogel said. “We’re hopeful that, again, no timeline, we’re hoping he gets a full practice in on Saturday and could potentially be available on Sunday.”

However, the team is being cautious and it looks like he will only play when his ankle is completely healed:

Kuzma has been with the Lakers through their five-game trip but has not played. Vogel said the Lakers are waiting until he is completely pain free before allowing him to play again.

It is fair to wonder whether or not Kuzma’s up-and-down performances when he was playing were related to his injury but either way, it is smart for the Lakers to be patient with him as he is one of the few players on the roster who is capable of creating his own shot. Los Angeles has seen their offense bog down during long stretches, so having a healthy Kuzma to help carry the scoring load will be crucial once he is ready to return.

Davis and James are more than capable of carrying the scoring load when they are on the floor, but Kuzma provides a spot-up and cutting threat that defenses have to account for whenever one of the All-Star players has the ball. He is also another weapon defensively as he can serviceably defend smaller wings and switch onto guards in late shot clock situations.

While the purple and gold have a hold on the top spot in the Western Conference, getting Kuzma back to full strength is pivotal as he raises the ceiling of the team. Hopefully, he returns sooner rather than later and settles into his role.

You May Also Like

Lakers VP Jim Buss: ‘I’m 100 Percent Behind Mike Brown’

After a winless preseason (0-8) and three straight losses to start the…

Lakers News: Kyle Kuzma Believes He Has Done Enough To Make Team USA Final Roster

Team USA is gearing up for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup which is scheduled to begin Aug. 31 and with 13 players…

Kobe Bryant, Paul George Takeover At NBA2K16 Event

With Kobe Bryant set to grace the Legend Editions cover of NBA2K17, he helped officially introduce Paul George as the NBA2K17 cover athlete at the NBA2K16 Road To The Finals Championship on Wednesday…

Lakers ‘Unlikely’ To Make A Move Before NBA Trade Deadline

The trade rumors have been swirling around the NBA over the last…