Michael Beasley was back with the Los Angeles Lakers at Friday’s shootaround, returning after an absence to be with his ill mother who passed away last month. Beasley rejoining the team comes at a needed time as injuries have depleted the Lakers’ depth.
LeBron James, who was already ruled out for the game with the New York Knicks, won’t travel with the Lakers on their two-game road trip and is due to be re-evaluated in one week. The timeline guarantees he will miss at least the next four games.
Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma was on hand at the practice facility but received treatment on his lower back contusion in lieu of participating in shootaround. Kuzma remains questionable to play against the Knicks.
“The back is tough,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. “You can’t really play through back pain. You get locked up and you can’t move. He’s been getting treatment, and we’ll see how he’s feeling and moving around tonight.”
In the event Kuzma is unavailable, joining James and Rajon Rondo, it could mean an opportunity for Beasley. He last played Dec. 7, scoring 4 points in 8 minutes of a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
“It was a nice energy boost seeing Michael in the gym,” Walton said. “His teammates love him and it’s just good to have him back. If Kuz does not play, then Beasley will be an option. He told me he’s been running. I told him we could find that out real quick if I decide to play him.
“But he had great energy in here today.”
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