The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four straight games after starting off the year an unexpected 10-10. Much of the Lakers’ struggles can be attributed to injuries as starting guards D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young have both been nursing injuries for the last couple of weeks.
On the positive side, however, it looks like things are turning around on the injury front. Russell was recently cleared to start on-court activities while Nick Young says he’s feeling better and has been getting some shots up himself, according to Tania Ganguli of the LA Times:
“Feeling better,” the Lakers starting shooting guard said. “A lot better. I’m able to shoot around, get some shots up a little bit. Something I haven’t done in a while.”
With Young feeling better, Mark Medina of the OC Register reports that he hopes to return for Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings:
Young is targeting Monday’s game in Sacramento for his return. The Lakers downplayed that date, reiterating his timetable depends on how his body responds in practice. Nonetheless, Young traveled with the Lakers to Houston to receive treatment and advance from pool exercises to shooting drills. Young plans to complete light drills during Thursday’s practice and complete a full practice Saturday.
Head coach Luke Walton has stressed that Young (and Russell’s) return will be dependent on how they respond to increased workloads over the next few days, but it is very encouraging that the Lakers could be seeing some players return.
The team has struggled recently, and Walton doesn’t want his young players using the injuries as a crutch for their poor performance.
Regardless, Young’s return will be very welcome as he was enjoying a true comeback season before this calf strain. Young is averaging 13.3 points on 45.5 percent shooting, and 41.4 percent from three-point range and has also turned into one of the team’s best on-ball defenders.