After a stretch in which they won eight of 10 games, the Los Angeles Lakers have since suffered back-to-back losses in large part due to injuries. They’ve been without Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram for multiple weeks, and more recently didn’t have Kyle Kuzma for one game.
He played through a sprained ankle last Tuesday, helping the Lakers to a comeback win against the Denver Nuggets, then sat out the following night. Kuzma returned for Friday’s game with the Miami Heat, though only had 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Although Kuzma was back in the lineup, he admitted to dealing with lingering swelling and discomfort in his right ankle. Though Kuzma was refused to use his injury as any sort of excuse.
After the Lakers final practice before embarking on a four-game road trip, head coach Luke Walton reported Kuzma’s condition as improving, via the team’s Twitter account:
“Felt good. He got out here on the court, got treatment. There is a little bit of swelling but not too bad. He said he feels good.”
Even though he’s been somewhat limited by the ankle trouble, Kuzma has both made Lakers and NBA rookie history. With 132 made 3-pointers, he broke D’Angelo Russell’s team record for most in a single season by a first-year player.
Additionally, with 1,032 points and 414 rebounds, Kuzma is the first rookie to ever tally a minimum of 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 130 3-pointers.
Kuzma overcoming the sprained ankle would be a welcomed sight for the Lakers, who may also see the return of Ingram on the road trip.