Lakers Injury Update: Gabe Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt Have Not Yet Progressed To On-Court Work
Gabe Vincent, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have gone through much of the 2023-24 season shorthanded. And a massive chunk of their missed games have been due to injuries to Gabe Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Vincent has only played in five games this season while Vanderbilt has appeared in 29 with knee and foot injuries, respectively. It has been a huge hit to the Lakers rotation, who expected major contributions from both players.

When Vanderbilt suffered a mid-foot sprain on Feb. 1, head coach Darvin Ham felt certain that he would eventually return this season, but that he was going to be sidelined for a significant amount of time. As for Vincent, early March had always been the rumored return timetable for him. At this rate, it’s unclear if either of those things will happen, especially after Ham’s recent update.

He first talked about where Vincent is in his recovery program and the recent progress he’s made.

“It’s going according to plan,” Ham said after practice on Tuesday. “Just non-impact work in terms of him being on the AlterG (treadmill) and doing some other things in the weight room and in the pool. That’s it for now.”

Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is in a similar place in his progression.

“Same thing. Status quo. Just ramping up with different alternative workouts. Same thing going on with him, no change with that,” Ham said of Vanderbilt.

The true reason for uncertainty about both players’ return dates is that neither has seen any court time yet.

“No. When I say ramp up, I don’t mean on the hardwood. Just doing stuff in the weight room, doing stuff in the pool, stretching all the muscles around the injured area,” Ham said.

But Ham is not concerned about reintegrating Vincent and Vanderbilt into the mix when they are healthy enough to play given how the team has been preparing all season.

“It’s very realistic,” Ham said. “I just think if you get a healthy body back, other guys have had a lot of miles put on themselves this season due to our injury circumstances. So you work them back in slowly, you do different things, you have stay ready groups to try to get them up to speed on where you are currently. And just let the chips fall where they may.

“No one has a crystal ball, you can’t feel sorry for yourself. You just have to continue to work each and every day and hope they work each and every day to strengthen and resolve their injuries and go from there. There’s no formula or secret potion that’s gonna drop them back into the lineup clicking on all cylinders. It’s gonna be a process but it’s one we’re willing to go through.”

The Lakers may have some trouble getting their players integrated, but it’s better to have the talent on the floor as opposed to on the bench. Getting Vincent and Vanderbilt back in the mix would finally give the Lakers the team they expected to have in the offseason.

LeBron James angling to sign multiyear deal with Lakers

James’ future with the Lakers is an open question as he has a player option for the 2024-25 season. He has yet to indicate which direction he’s leaning in, which means the Lakers will have to wait and see what he wants to do for next year and beyond.

Despite the team’s struggles this season, recent reports indicate that he wants to stay in L.A. for the foreseeable future:

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