The Los Angeles Lakers are in the home stretch of the season and remain hopeful Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram will manage to return from their respective injuries. Hart suffered a broken hand during a late-February practice and underwent surgery a couple days later.
He was projected to miss four to six weeks while recovering, which left open the possibility the rookie could return for a handful of games at the end of the season. Though, Lakers head coach Luke Walton made it clear the team would not rush the process.
As the Lakers began a four-game road trip this week, Hart went on a television tour of sorts. The first stop was on ESPN’s SportsNation, where he presented host Cari Champion with a personalized Lakers jersey, among other items, and implored her to throw away Clippers gear she had been gifted.
From there, it was to the Spectrum SportsNet studios, where Hart joined the network’s coverage of that evening’s Lakers game. In a light-hearted moment at the end of the night, he did a spot-on impersonation of teammate Brook Lopez.
Also during the “Access SportsNet: Lakers” postgame show, Hart joked about fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma’s wardrobe. That led to a question about whether the two might match up in practice as a test for Hart’s hand, which prompted a response he would shut Kuzma down, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“He won’t score on me in practice. He’ll try to do his weak little moves that I know. I know all his moves. It just won’t happen. Once I put that forearm on him, he’s not going anywhere.”
Hart’s friendly jab at Kuzma falls in line with what’s been seen from several of the young Lakers throughout the season. Lonzo Ball has both dished and been the subject of jokes, and so too has Kuzma.
As for when Hart might actually step foot on the court again, he’s targeting a return against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 30. He recently began going through shooting drills and said a flexible plan for recovery was in place.