Lakers Injury Update: Jarred Vanderbilt Had Good Workout But Still No Timetable For Return
Jarred Vanderbilt, Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 season is coming to an end and the Los Angeles Lakers are clinging onto the slim chance that they can move up in the Western Conference standings.

The Lakers dropped a crucial game against the Golden State Warriors earlier in the week, though the result was a by-product of Anthony Davis being forced to miss the game with headaches and nausea. Without Davis, Los Angeles lost its size advantage over Golden State and predictably struggled on both ends of the floor.

Davis’ absence exacerbated the lack of front court depth behind him, especially because Jarred Vanderbilt has yet to be cleared to return. There was optimism that Vanderbilt would return soon after being re-evaluated, but that didn’t end up being the case.

Before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, head coach Darvin Ham said there isn’t anything to note regarding Vanderbilt’s status. “No new updates,” Ham said.

When Ham was asked when he would have an update about the forward, he left it up in the air. “We’ll see. He had a good workout today. So we’ll see.”

This doesn’t sound very encouraging when it comes to Vanderbilt’s prospects of returning at all. The initial hope was that he would be able to play in a handful of games to ramp up and re-acclimate to game speed, but now he’s in serious jeopardy of missing the rest of the year entirely.

Given Los Angeles’ place in the standings, Vanderbilt might not even have an opportunity to come back unless the team is able to get out of the Play-In Tournament. It would be a disappointing end to his season, especially because the team made it sound like he was close to returning to the court.

If Vanderbilt is ultimately unable to come back, Ham will have to lean heavily on the front court players that are available. Rui Hachimura has fortunately been great on both ends of the floor to close the stretch run out, but he doesn’t bring the same defensive versatility that Vanderbilt does.

In all likelihood, the Lakers will need to press forward without Vanderbilt and hope that he can play if they make the postseason.

Anthony Davis believes Lakers are still in great place

Although Los Angeles lost some much-needed games toward the end of the regular season, it hasn’t shaken Davis’ confidence in the roster. In fact, he believes the Lakers are still in a great place.

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