Kyle Kuzma is planning on being inserted back into the Los Angeles Lakers lineup against the Oklahoma City Thunder after a gruesome eye injury sidelined him for the entire second half of their first meeting against them.
In the second quarter against the Thunder, Kuzma took an elbow to the face from Darius Bazley and immediately came out of the game with a bloody eye. After tests, Kuzma was diagnosed with an eye abrasion. And while Kuzma was available to return, head coach Frank Vogel decided against it.
At Thursday’s practice, Kuzma gave an update as to how his eye was feeling.
“It’s doing better. Yesterday it was completely shut, now it’s open, so I can see a little bit better,” Kuzma shared. “It’s still a little blurry. When I went to the doctor, I had like four or five scratches in my eye. It’s alright though.”
Kuzma was then asked if he would be missing any time or if protective goggles would be his only recourse.
“I have to wear the goggles. I’m not missing any time though, just got to wear the goggles, just for protection and because I don’t want that feeling again, that really hurts,” Kuzma joked. “So James Worthy… Big Game Kuz, I like how that sounds.”
It seems to be a good sign that Kuzma is in good spirits after such a bad looking injury, and it appears there will be no hesitation in inserting him back into the lineup.
There will be an adjustment for Kuzma while he learns to deal with the goggles, which is unfortunate given the rhythm he had found after returning from his stress reaction in his left foot. However, the goggles hopefully won’t have too much of an effect on him.
The Lakers will be starting a four-game road trip with their matchup against the Thunder and only time will tell how many games Kuzma will have to play before the goggles can come off.