The 2019 NBA preseason brought out a lot of excitement for the Los Angeles Lakers as they looked to be coming together nicely, but if there was one point of concern, it was the absence of Kyle Kuzma who is recovering from an injury.
Kuzma suffered a stress reaction in his left foot while playing for Team USA and has yet to see the floor for the Lakers. He has only recently moved past non-contact basketball activities and has already been ruled out of the team’s 2019-20 NBA season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.
It is still unclear exactly when Kuzma will return to the Lakers, but in speaking with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, he is optimistic about his recovery after getting back on the floor:
Kuzma told ESPN he was “a little more optimistic” about his injury after being able to get back on the court this past week.
It is definitely unfortunate that Kuzma won’t be ready for the start of the season. He is viewed as arguably the biggest x-factor for this Lakers team and with them needing to build chemistry, the quicker he is back on the court, the better.
Despite the disappointment of not being healthy to start this important season, Kuzma insists this injury won’t affect him moving forward:
“The main thing is just making sure I’m healthy and (ready to) go,” Kuzma said. “It’s a long season, so (missing opening night) won’t affect me mentally or anything.”
Kuzma certainly has the right idea in thinking about the big picture. The most important thing is making sure he is completely healthy before getting back on the court. Re-aggravating the injury in any way would be the worst thing that could happen and a much bigger issue than simply missing a few games at the start of the season.
That being said, the sooner Kuzma returns to the Lakers the better it will be for the team.
Head coach Frank Vogel must figure out his best lineups and rotations and Kuzma will be a big part of that. However, Kuzma’s long-term health is the biggest factor and the Lakers can’t sacrifice that for any reason. He has the right mindset moving forward and there is little doubt that he will make a big impact once he finally returns.