The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing with major injury issues over the past month or so, but now things finally seem to be looking up. The result could be both Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart back on the court by the end of the week.
It has already been announced that Ingram will return for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. Meanwhile, Hart long ago stated his intention to play in Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
And at this rate, Hart could get his wish. According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Hart looked good during 3-on-3 drills and could very well be cleared to return Friday:
Luke Walton said Josh Hart looked really good in 3-on-3 work but has yet to be cleared. Walton says if Hart continues to progress, he could be cleared for Friday.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) March 28, 2018
Not everything has been great for the Lakers on the injury front, however, as Isaiah Thomas is set to undergo hip surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
Despite that, getting both Ingram and Hart back is a big deal for the Lakers, especially as the minutes continue to pile up for certain players. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have all been playing close to 40 minutes per game lately and that simply isn’t sustainable.
Walton will finally be able to give them some rest, and with Hart, he gets one of his best defensive players back as well as the team’s best shooter statistically. Hart’s ability to guard multiple positions, and even much bigger players, has been key to the Lakers being able to switch consistently.
He is so strong that he is able to hold his own in the post. Add in the fact that he is shooting a team-high 39.7 percent from 3-point range and the Lakers will certainly welcome Hart back for this stretch run.
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