The Los Angeles Lakers just can’t seem to catch a break these days. They are currently mired in a five-game losing streak, and the injury bug is hounding them relentlessly. It appears that power forward Julius Randle is the latest to feel its bite, and is dealing with another hip issue.
Randle attempted to go for a steal late in Friday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns but collided with Suns guard Brandon Knight. After the play, Randle stayed down for a few moments, grimacing in pain and clutching his left hip. It was a scary moment for the bruising big man who recently missed three games with a hip pointer.
Randle revealed his latest injury is to the opposite hip, according to Ryan Ward of AXS.com:
Julius Randle on hip injury: “I hurt it on the other side a couple of games ago.”
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 10, 2016
Despite the second hip issue, Randle said he doesn’t anticipate missing any games, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Julius Randle hurt his hip, but it's not the side where he had the hip pointer. This is to his right side and he doesn't plan to miss games
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 10, 2016
While Lakers medical personnel will certainly monitor Randle, it looks like he may have escaped serious injury, which is great news for a Lakers team that is dealing with a myriad of health issues.
The starting back court of D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young are still out with their respective knee and calf injuries, though both appear to be on the verge of making a return. Jose Calderon remains sidelined with a strained calf, and reserve center Tarik Black is still recuperating from a sprained ankle.
With the team struggling, they need all the help they can get, and Randle is certainly capable of providing a boost to the Lakers. Not only is he a force on the glass, but he has also improved his passing this season, often driving into the teeth of the defense and kicking out to open shooters.
Losing Young and Russell has hurt him in this regard, but the hope is that once the Lakers get healthy, they will return to the winning ways that thrilled fans at the start of the season.