For the most part this season, the Los Angeles Lakers have avoided the dreaded injury bug that has plagued the team in each of the last two seasons. That changed in Denver as not only did Kobe Bryant leave early due to his sore shoulder, but Jordan Clarkson limped off the floor as well.
With Lou Williams already out for at least a week, Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell were expected to take on an even bigger role in the offense.
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes reported that Clarkson suffered a patellar tendon strain and would not return:
Jordan Clarkson (patellar tendon strain in his left knee) will not return, the Lakers announce.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) March 3, 2016
This couldn’t come at a worse time for the Lakers as the team was expected to really lean on their young core for the rest of the season. With Williams out as well, the onus will really be on Russell to become not only a primary shot creator for others, but a primary scoring option for the team.
Clarkson joins a quietly growing list of injured Lakers though none of them are believed to be too serious at this time. Besides Bryant’s shoulder and Williams’ hamstring, Larry Nance Jr. is also expected to be limited for the rest of the season due to a knee issue.
Hopefully for Clarkson and the Lakers, he will be able to make a quick recovery as he was enjoying an excellent second season, ranking second on the team in scoring while vastly improving his outside jumper. Marcelo Huertas is in line to take on a larger role in Clarkson’s absence while Anthony Brown and Nick Young should also see more time as well.