The Los Angeles Lakers are reeling in one of their worst slumps since adding LeBron James and Anthony Davis to their roster. And just as they were starting to get healthy, Dennis Schroder was ruled out of Sunday’s game due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This could not have come at a worse time for the Lakers, as Schroder would have been a huge help in what ended up being another disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors. His defense on Kyle Lowry and his ability to score at the rim could have changed the outlook of the game. Instead, he was not with the team.
Now, it is being reported that Schroder will face the longest possible time away because of the health and safety protocols, needing a 10-14 day stint, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Lakers guard Dennis Schroder is expected to miss 10-to-14 days due to health and safety protocols, sources tell me and @billoram. Schroder entered protocols on Sunday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 3, 2021
The Lakers have made it a point to not reveal anything about a player’s condition until the player reveals it himself. This has been the case for everyone who has missed time due to the health and safety protocols on the Lakers, as we did not know what specifically was happening until they returned.
However, a 10-to-14 day absence generally means a positive COVID test. This was the case with Marc Gasol as well as a number of players outside the Lakers organization. It very well could be a different reason, but this does serve as the most likely explanation for the extended time away.
If Schroder misses all 14 days — including Sunday’s loss — then that would put his return at the very last game of the regular season on May 16 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
As they face a pivotal final eight games, a stretch where they will face six playoff teams, they will be without their point guard. This puts an even heavier burden on James, who is just returning from a month-long stint off the court with injury.
James dealing with continued ankle soreness
James was removed for nearly the entire fourth quarter of the Lakers’ loss to the Raptors, putting his status for Monday’s incredibly important game against the Denver Nuggets in doubt. He spoke about why he was pulled and what the plan is moving forward.
“The plan is to see how I feel and go from there, but I definitely want to get healthy,” James said. “Not only for myself, but for our team. It’s challenging for us right now, but we’ll be fine.”
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