As the Los Angeles Lakers began to slip in the Western Conference standings, the focus shifted to getting players healthy and the year(s) ahead. A blood clot forced Brandon Ingram to be shut down, and Lonzo Ball was as well because of a bone bruise in his sprained left ankle.
Already closely monitoring LeBron James’ minutes and not committing to playing him back-to-back situations, the Lakers moved to shut down the 16-year veteran at the end of March. Now Kyle Kuzma may face a similar reality.
He missed Thursday’s game against the Golden State Warriors due to left foot peroneal tendinitis. It marked a third consecutive game Kuzma did not play because of the injury.
Though there are only three games remaining this season and despite long being eliminated from the playoffs, the Lakers have not yet decided on Kuzma’s availability. He underwent an MRI Wednesday, which confirmed the injury to be tendinitis.
“His foot is better,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. “There was some hope (Kuzma can return this season). As long as there’s no risk of him getting injured any further than what he has going on, there was a chance he could play (Thursday), so we’ll see how he feels [Friday].”
The Lakers face the L.A. Clippers as the designated road team Friday night, then host the Utah Jazz on Sunday and conclude the season Tuesday with a matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Should Kuzma not return, his sophomore campaign will come to a close at 70 games (68 starts), with averages of 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.