Lakers Injury Update: Lonnie Walker IV Closer To Returning Than Austin Reaves
Lonnie Walker IV, Los Angeles Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have been playing shorthanded the past few weeks, and that’s not just because Anthony Davis continues to work his way back from a stress injury.

Alongside Davis, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves have been sidelined with knee tendinitis and a hamstring injury, respectively. Walker and Reaves were key rotation pieces for Darvin Ham, and without them, the guard play has suffered. In their place, Dennis Schroder and Kendrick Nunn have been asked to do more and while serviceable on most nights, they’re not the same kind of scorers and athletes that Walker and Reaves are.

Ahead of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Ham gave a status update on Walker and Reaves. “Austin will be reevaluated next week. I think Lonnie is tomorrow and Lonnie is probably a little bit closer than Austin.”

Last time Ham provided an update, he noted that Walker was progressing and this seems to fall in line with that statement.

Hamstring injuries are tricky and can be easily aggravated, so it makes sense that the team is being more cautious with Reaves. However, it’s good news to hear that Walker is set to return soon considering the Lakers have been missing his ability to create his own shot and fill the lanes in transition.

So far during the 2022-23 season, Walker is averaging a career-high 14.7 points per game and shooting 38.4 percent from distance on more than five attempts a game. Outside shooting has been a weakness of the roster, so they’ve certainly missed the shooting guard’s ability to knock down open 3s when teams decide to crowd LeBron James in half-court possessions.

Hopefully the results of Walker’s reevaluation are positive and the athletic guard is back on the court sooner rather than later.

Optimism Anthony Davis could return next week against Celtics

Walker and Reaves aren’t the only ones inching closer to a return as the same can be said for Davis. Every update that has come out regarding the Lakers superstar has been positive, and the latest report indicates he could return as soon as late next week against the Boston Celtics.

For a team that has struggled to stay healthy all season, the Lakers are finally close to getting whole and that could be key to their second-half run to get back in the postseason mix, especially if Davis is playing at the level he was at pre-injury.

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