While the Los Angeles Lakers will have Kyle Kuzma (left hand fifth metacarpal joint sprain) available for Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, and perhaps Brandon Ingram (left ankle sprain), Lonzo Ball (left knee sprain) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Achilles tendon strain) are out.
For Ball, it will mark a third consecutive game missed due to his knee injury. He initially felt the discomfort last weekend in an overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks.
It subsided rather quickly, and it wasn’t until Ball woke up the following morning with soreness and swelling that the Lakers sent him for an MRI. While there’s been some progress made in the recovery, Ball has yet to return to the court in any capacity.
“We’re not just going to throw him in a game,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. “We’ve got to see him get on the court before we even talk about playing him.”
Walton is hopeful Ball will participate in practice on Saturday and in turn rejoin the Lakers for their matinee affair with the New York Knicks.
As for Ingram, who tweaked his sprained ankle in the loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and didn’t play in the fourth quarter, he received treatment in lieu of participating in Friday’s shootaround.
Walton downplayed any concern over Ingram aggravating the injury, but noted a full recovery likely won’t come for a few months. “I think that happens with sprained ankles. Once you get it that first time, you kind of tweak it a lot easier from then on,” Walton said.
“It will hopefully not be that consistent throughout the season but until he has an offseason it will probably hurt him a little bit here and there.” Ingram is considered a game-time decision Friday night.
Caldwell-Pope also did not go through shootaround, but has improved since suffering the injury in the second quarter on Wednesday. “He said he’s feeling much better,” Walton said.
“Possibly (return) Sunday, but it’s an Achilles, so we won’t rush him. If he’s feeling good and ready to go Sunday, we’ll play him. If not, we’ll wait until Tuesday.”
Beyond the aforementioned quarter that is less than 100 percent, the Lakers announced Julius Randle suffered a mallet fracture in his right ring finger (tip). Randle doesn’t believe the injury is serious and will continue to play through it.
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