The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that center Mo Bamba has been diagnosed with a left high ankle sprain and will be reevaluated in four weeks. The injury occurred during the Lakers’ win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
Bamba was acquired in a trade deadline deal with the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Patrick Beverley and has appeared in seven games for the Lakers, averaging 4.4 points and 5.3 rebounds.
This injury will essentially keep Bamba out for the remainder of the regular season as the Lakers close out on April 9 against the Utah Jazz. Should things go well for Bamba in his recovery, it is possible he will be able to return for the playoffs should the Lakers secure a spot.
The loss is an unfortunate one for the Lakers as Bamba gave the team another big body and a true center to help take the pressure off of Anthony Davis. Bamba is an excellent rim protector who alters a number of shots at the basket and is solid on the glass while also giving the Lakers another floor spacer on offense as a career 35.9% three-point shooter.
Bamba had his best showing for the Lakers in his lone start where he finished with 12 points and seven rebounds while knocking down 3-of-4 from three-point range in the Lakers’ 123-117 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With Bamba out, Wenyen Gabriel is set to receive more minutes as the team’s only other true big aside from Davis. Rui Hachimura will likely also be relied upon to play more minutes on the inside, especially as the team remains without superstar LeBron James. The team still has an open roster spot so could potentially bring in another big man as well.
Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell targeting return Friday night vs. Raptors
On a positive injury note, the Lakers look set to be getting back starting point guard D’Angelo Russell in their next contest. Russell suffered a sprained ankle in the team’s contest against the Golden State Warriors and has missed the six games since.
But Russell is targeting a return to the lineup in the Lakers’ contest Friday night against the Toronto Raptors, a much-needed boost for the Lakers who remain without LeBron James and Russell is a player capable of helping as a scorer and creator in his absence.
Russell has appeared in four contests since being acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team deal at the trade deadline. He is averaging 13.5 points and 5.0 assists while shooting 35.3% from 3-point range.
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