The season hasn’t even started and the Los Angeles Lakers have already lost a key player to injury as it was recently announced Trevor Ariza underwent ankle surgery and will be evaluated in eight weeks.
Ariza reported to training camp with the ankle issue already a thing, although the Lakers were confident it was just a minor issue he would be able to overcome and be ready for Opening Night.
The injury didn’t get better as time went along though, so the Lakers and Ariza decided surgery was the best course of action.
“Trevor did everything he could to see if he could get through the injury without missing any time without any procedures,” Frank Vogel said before Friday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors. “So ultimately it came down to just making sure that we got it cleaned up and hopefully we’ll get him back as soon as he can.”
Before determining that surgery was necessary, Vogel said Ariza tried to participate in practice to see how it felt.
“He didn’t do the contact portion, if I recall correctly, but he did all the running and non-contact drills and it just wasn’t where it needed to be so they went for a further evaluation and decided this was the best course of action.”
While this obviously isn’t ideal for a Lakers team that’s short on wings, it is not a season-ending injury so Ariza should be able to return and contribute at some point.
In his absence, the Lakers will be depending on players like Kent Bazemore and Carmelo Anthony to play key roles on the wing alongside their big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
Vogel doesn’t believe Ariza injury will affect center rotation
There’s been some talk about Davis starting at center for the Lakers this season, and a big reason for that was Ariza’s ability to start at power forward and rebound at a high level.
Without Ariza though, it’s logical to believe Vogel will go back to Davis at power forward and start either DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard at center. While it’s still possible that happens, Vogel is not yet ready to commit to it.
“Not necessarily. We’ll see, we’re gonna use all six games of the preseason to evaluate and we’ll make a decision at that point.”
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