The Los Angeles Lakers announced that Trevor Ariza is the latest player to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols and has been ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center.
In addition to Ariza, the Lakers are still without head coach Frank Vogel, assistant Phil Handy, Avery Bradley, Malik Monk, Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore due to health and safety protocols. Anthony Davis is also still out due to an MCL sprain in his left knee as is Kendrick Nunn with his own knee injury, so the Lakers remain severely shorthanded.
The Ariza news is especially unfortunate considering he had just returned from an ankle injury and played well in the two games he did compete in.
Before the season started, the vision for Ariza was that he would add more size on the wing to help defensively and on the glass while also knocking down timely 3-point shots, which is exactly what he did in the two games he played.
Now, instead of continuing to build up his minutes and potentially becoming a full-time starter for the Lakers, Ariza must sit out again likely due to a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
Under the NBA’s new protocols he may only be out around a week, although that would still mean he will miss three or potentially four games depending on when he is cleared. The Lakers really can’t afford that at the moment having lost three straight and sitting at 16-16 on the season.
Ariza please with conditioning but admits ankle feels sore
When discussing the two games he was able to play, Ariza was pleased with his conditioning after sitting out so many games, although he did admit that his ankle would feel a bit sore when playing more minutes.
“Conditioning I feel pretty cool,” the veteran forward said. “It’s more so like a later, in the game longer in the game my foot gets a little sore. My ankle gets a bit sore. Just managing that and being able to stay engaged and keep my ankle as warm as possible. That’s pretty much the big thing, it’s not so much conditioning.”
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