Lakers Injury Update: Gabe Vincent Cleared For Non-Contact Work
Gabe Vincent, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have been without their biggest offseason free agent signing in former Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent for nearly the entire season. Vincent managed just five games in the month of December because of a knee injury that existed prior to the season and flared up after he returned to game action. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure and has been working toward a return ever since.

The Lakers had been hinting at a mid-to-late March return for Vincent since that procedure, but his progression was slow moving. As of a few weeks ago, he hadn’t even moved to on-court work, but the team remained hopeful that a March return was in the cards for the defensive-minded point guard.

Now, that projection may be coming to fruition, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on FanDuel TV’s Run it Back that Vincent’s window to return could begin very shortly:

“Gabe Vincent is finally to the point where he is progressing to conditioning and ramping up on the floor. His window, I’m told, to potentially return begins next week… Barring a setback, look for his window to a return to start next week.”

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham went on to give an update on Vincent after practice on Tuesday.

“Gabe has been cleared for non-contact work, so he’s doing sprints up and down the court. But everything else is pretty much status quo,” Ham said.

Ham was then asked if there’s a chance Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt could return in the regular season.

“We’ll see, we’ll see. I know they’re doing and we’re doing everything in our power to try to make that happen, and it’s been going well.”

Vincent is eventually returning to a team that is playing some of their best basketball, and doing so with a replacement in Spencer Dinwiddie. The Lakers brought in Dinwiddie via the buyout market after a trade deadline deal because they were unsure of Vincent’s status and needed a quality point guard to alleviate some stress from D’Angelo Russell and LeBron James.

Once Vincent returns, how the rotation shakes out becomes a fascinating watch. Given that the Lakers signed Vincent to a three-year, $33 million contract in the offseason, it’s likely he would take priority over Dinwiddie, but the former Brooklyn Nets guard has been playing well in L.A. thus far and has contributed to some big victories.

Darvin Ham: Lakers focused on being best version of themselves

Head coach Darvin Ham explained what the Lakers need to do to change the result this time around.

“Again, just regardless of who we’re playing, being the best version of ourselves,” Ham said. “That’s all we’ve been talking about. How great can we be? Obviously, we have to do a little bit of detailed work in terms of preparing for a specific team. But when we’re going out and performing like we know what we’re capable of, we like our chances, to say the least.

“And so the biggest thing for us is just again, to keep building on what we’re doing defensively.

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