Lakers News: Jarred Vanderbilt Expresses Frustration With Not Being Available Due To Injury
Jarred Vanderbilt, Lakers
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Jarred Vanderbilt quickly became a key piece for the Los Angeles Lakers after being acquired at last year’s trade deadline. However, in his first full season with the team, it did not go as planned due to missing time with injuries.

Vanderbilt only played 29 games, starting six after initially missing the beginning of the regular season with a heel issue. He finally worked his way back into form during late January but then unfortunately suffered a right foot sprain on Feb. 1 in Boston.

The 25-year-old struggled to make his return before the end of the regular season. In Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets, Vanderbilt was made available but did not see the floor. Now that the season is over, the 6’8″ forward reflects on how frustrating the season was due to injuries.

“It definitely was frustrating not being available,” Vanderbilt said. “It’s been a long year dealing with injuries and trying to get healthy to be there for the team. So it definitely was frustrating, especially knowing I could have contributed to some of the stuff we were lacking this year. So definitely was frustrating.”

Leading up to Game 5, Vanderbilt was upgraded to questionable after being listed as out for the past few months. Foot injuries are a delicate one and Vanderbilt described the process that led up to him ultimately becoming available.

“The thing with foot injuries is they just take time,” he said. “I put myself in position to be prepared and give myself the best chance to potentially play and I think attacking the full rehab process and doing everything possible that I could to put myself on the floor. So that was the process.”

However, on the bright side. the Houston native now gets a full offseason to get ready for next year. In terms of defensive personnel, the Lakers missed him greatly and will be key to any kind of success for the 2024-25 season.

“Like I said, it’s just a process,” Vanderbilt said. “So just continue to attack the rehab process. I got a full summer ahead where I can fully lock in on getting heathy, not only my feet, but locking in on my routine and just my rehab process. It’s gonna be a process, but I got all summer to lock that in.”

While this year did not go as planned for Vanderbilt and the Lakers, this is an opportunity to finally get healthy heading into training camp.

LeBron James: Jarred Vanderbilt’s potential return would bring ‘energy’ to Lakers

Leading up to Jarred Vanderbilt’s potential return Game 5, there was some optimism that he could make an impact for the Lakers. LeBron James speculated this his return to the floor would bring ‘energy’ to the team, but unfortunately Vanderbilt did not get a chance to take the court.

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