Lakers Rumors: Jalen Hood-Schifino’s Back Surgery Involved Bulging Disc; Expected To Make Full Recovery
Jalen Hood-Schifino, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ scouting department has earned a reputation for nailing its draft picks, so there were high expectations for Jalen Hood-Schifino when he was taken with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Hood-Schifino had an excellent season as a freshman at Indiana and profiled as a big lead guard who could run the offense and create his own shots. However, his rookie year has been relatively disappointing as he was buried on the bench behind the other guards on the roster.

In his limited minutes, Hood-Schifino looked out of sorts and his offensive game sputtered as a result. Making matters more complicated was the solid play from fellow rookies like Brandin Podziemski and Jaime Jaquez Jr. who were taken after Hood-Schifino.

Before he had a chance to prove himself in the league, Hood-Schifino underwent a lumbar microdisectomy procedure. The surgery reportedly involved shaving down a bulging disc but the Lakers expect him to make a full recovery this summer, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

It’s a disappointing end to Hood-Schifino’s rookie year but it’s good that he’s expected to be fully healthy ahead of the 2024-25 season. Hood-Schifino seemed to be finding his game during his time down in the G League with the South Bay Lakers but will now have to deal with his rehab assignment in the offseason.

While it’s still far too early to declare Hood-Schifino a bust, he has a long road of ahead of him trying to prove he belongs at the NBA level. Young players develop at different rates and perhaps Hood-Schifino simply needs more reps before he starts to make an impact on the floor.

As things currently stand, Hood-Schifino will likely be looking at another developmental season next year, though if he shows improvement he could eventually land a spot in the rotation.

Lakers expect Christian Wood to miss remainder of 2023-24 regular season

Injuries to the role players on the Lakers have been an issue all season and Christian Wood was the latest player to be forced off the floor. Wood underwent arthroscopic knee surgery recently and the organization is reportedly expecting him to miss the remainder of the regular season, although he could return for the playoffs.

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