The Los Angeles Lakers have had to deal with the injury bug early this season as it hit key rotation pieces who are vital to the team’s success.
During the recent four-game road trip, L.A. would have instances of running an eight-man rotation due to how shorthanded they were. As some players have bounced in and out of the lineup, two players who have been on the mend for a while are Gabe Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt. Vincent has dealt with some left knee effusion and is expected to be re-evaluated this week.
Vanderbilt has had issues with left heel bursitis and was re-evaluated on Monday. He was cleared to begin a return to play progression, ramping up for a potential return. No official date was given for his return, but head coach Darvin Ham gave a bit more detail on Vanderbilt’s process to return to action.
“I don’t want to put a time on it. The biggest thing with Vando is because for so long he had to do stationary drills, just individually, he hasn’t had really any contact, obviously. So he is just day by day ramping up and getting his conditioning, low-impact conditioning as well as basketball stuff. And just to see how he recovers from that day to day. So it’s good that he got green lit to start ramping up to be more aggressive with his workouts, but it’s just a day by day deal.”
It has been clear that the Lakers need Vanderbilt’s defense and rebounding, but there is no need to quickly rush him back to prevent further injury. With the day-to-day grind of the NBA and lack of practice time, it’ll be intriguing to see how long this process will take.
Ham’s update seems positive, but having no timetable makes it hard to gauge when exactly Vanderbilt will return. Thankfully, Cam Reddish has found some confidence in his 3-point shooting and has taken the role of guarding the opposing team’s best player.
Also, Taurean Prince and Rui Hachimura have stepped up as well. Once Vanderbilt returns, it’ll be interesting to see where he fits in, whether he starts or comes off the bench. Ham will have to make some tough choices as all the wings have made their impressions thus far here in the young season.
Anthony Davis believes Reddish is playing at highest confidence
In a surprising move, Reddish was inserted in the starting lineup and Austin Reaves was moved to the bench. It has been beneficial for both players, and Anthony Davis believes Reddish is playing with a high level of confidence right now.
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