In the opening minutes of Friday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, the Los Angeles Lakers received a huge scare when D’Angelo Russell crumbled to the floor. He eventually got up and walked back to the locker room under his own power but did not return to the game.
Russell was eventually diagnosed with a strained calf and minor MCL sprain and it was unsure how long he would be out.
While the results of Russell’s MRI are still not known, Russell did not travel with the team to Dallas for Sunday’s game according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Still awaiting results of D’Angelo Russell’s MRI on his sprained right MCL. He is not on the trip to Dallas with the team.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 21, 2017
Obviously this rules Russell out for the Sunday matinee against the Mavericks, but his status beyond that remains unknown. Russell missed 13 games earlier this year with knee issues and struggled to regain his form upon returning.
Eventually Russell really got going in the beginning of January, but had struggled in recent games. If he has to miss a substantial amount of time it would really hamper his development not to mention rob the Lakers of their best playmaker.
This would be the latest in a string of injuries the Lakers have suffered this season as they haven’t been fully healthy since the beginning of the season. They are close to getting back to full strength as Larry Nance Jr. is set to return from a bone bruise in his knee, but now Russell could be gone again.
Injuries are something that every team has to deal with, but for a young team with no superstar, losing a major piece like Russell is very difficult to deal with. Hopefully this remains just a minor injury and Russell returns to the court soon.