The Los Angeles Lakers announced Brandon Ingram underwent an MRI that revealed a strained left groin, and he will be re-evaluated in one week. The timetable means Ingram will miss at least three games. He’s hopeful to return Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He suffered a left hip flexor strain late in last Thursday’s win against the Miami Heat. He scored 19 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes before exiting. “I pretty much knew what it was exactly when it happened,” Ingram said Monday.
“I just didn’t know my timetable or if I’d would have to be out at all. But like I said, I’m happy it’s not that serious where I can’t get back on the floor with my teammates.”
The all-around effort was another in what’s been a string of impressive play by the second-year forward over the past month. While filling in for injured point guard Lonzo Ball, Ingram averaged 18.6 points, 5.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 54.5 percent from the field during February.
Overall this season, he’s averaging 16.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists. When compared to his rookie year, Ingram has increased his season averages across the board.
“He’s done a lot for us. It’s not just his scoring that we’re going to miss. He’s really been a huge piece of the success we’ve had recently,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said.
“Playing the point guard position, playmaking, really stepping up the way he rebounds the ball, using his length to get in there and help us finish off our possessions on defense. His versatility, the amount of positions he can guard, there’s a lot we’re trying to figure out a way to fill in for without having him on the court.”
The Lakers are 17-8 since Jan. 7, trailing only the Houston Rockets (22) for most wins during that time. The Western-Conference leading Rockets are currently in the midst of a 15-game winning streak.
In addition to Ingram, L.A. is without Josh Hart, who underwent surgery to repair a fracture of the fourth metacarpal on his left hand. Hart is expected to miss four to six weeks, which leaves open the slightest possibility he returns prior to the regular season concluding.
The Lakers remain mathematically alive for the playoffs, but despite their season-best five-game winning streak, still began the day 6.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth seed.