Lakers Injury Update: X-Rays Negative On Russell Westbrook’s Right Thumb
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers announced that Russell Westbrook injured his right thumb in Sunday night’s win over the San Antonio Spurs although X-rays came back negative for a fracture. Westbrook left the arena with a hand on his thumb but will be further evaluated on Monday.

“We’ll find out more later when he gets evaluated again,” head coach Darvin Ham said after the win. “He was evaluated after the game and he’ll be re-evaluated in the morning so we’ll know more then.”

If Westbrook is forced to miss any time then that would be a huge loss for the Lakers as he has been thriving since Ham moved him into a bench role.

In 11 games since moving to the bench, Westbrook has averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists while shooting 43.6% from the field, 39.6% from 3 and 80% from the free throw line.

Moving Westbrook to a sixth man role has allowed him to play his brand of basketball, often operating with the ball in his hands where he can make plays for himself or his teammates.

Overall, the Lakers have begun to turn their play around with three straight victories to improve to 5-10 on the young season. Westbrook’s role in that cannot be denied, so hopefully he is not forced to miss much time, if any, due to this new thumb issue.

The Lakers begin a long road trip on Tuesday when they take on one of the top teams in the Western Conference in the Phoenix Suns. That will be a nice test to see how much L.A. is progressing and will perhaps set the tone for the upcoming road trip.

Ham says Lakers will be cautious before allowing Hames to return

With LeBron James missing the last four games due to a strained adductor, the Lakers have leaned on their other stars in Westbrook and Anthony Davis even more than usual.

It appears that may be the case for a little longer as Ham explained why the team will be cautious with James before allowing him to return.

“He’s staying in rhythm, but again, what you do in a 1-on-0 workout or 5-on-0 workout is a lot different than going in a game where you’re bumping bodies, changing speeds, changing direction,” Ham said. “That’s not predictable and not as controlled as an individual workout. So again, there’s no need to be in a hurry with him. He’s gonna definitely play a big bulk of games this season.

“It’s November, so we have time on our side. We had that long break last week, seeing some opponents and getting healthy guys back in Thomas and Dennis allows us to really take our time with him. So we just want to be as cautious as possible so again, it doesn’t turn into something he’s constantly dealing with throughout the season.”

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