The Los Angeles Lakers injury-ridden season continued Tuesday as just an hour before their game against the Denver Nuggets it was announced that starting forward Luol Deng would miss the game and be out indefinitely with a wrist injury.
Tuesday’s game was just the second Deng missed all season, with the first coming due to rest, not an injury. The Lakers made a valiant comeback attempt against the Nuggets, trailing by double digits for most of the game, and as many as 17 early in the fourth quarter.
They got within one with just under two minutes left in the game but were not able to complete the comeback, ultimately falling 127-121.
Deng’s wrist injury was suffered in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, and him being out indefinitely has left Laker fans a bit concerned about their starting small forward.
It appears that the injury may not be too serious after all though, as the Lakers official Twitter account announced on Wednesday that he is listed as questionable for Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers:
Luol Deng (sprained wrist) is currently questionable for Friday's game.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 18, 2017
In 43 games played this season, Deng is averaging 8.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 27.6 minutes per game. Deng got off to a slow start in the first of his four-year contract with the Lakers, but he picked up his play in the month of December. During the 16 games that month, he averaged 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
Rookie forward Brandon Ingram returned to the starting lineup Tuesday in Deng’s absence and saw an uptick in his playing time. He led the Lakers with 37 minutes played in the loss, scoring 15 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
If Deng is not able to go on Friday, then Ingram will likely get another start and face the challenge of guarding All-Star forward Paul George.