Lakers Injury News: Avery Bradley set to return, Kendrick Nunn up in the air
While his impact this season has waned and has been largely negative, there are areas where the Lakers lacking Avery Bradley hurt them. For all its flaws, effort has never been a problem for Bradley during his multiple tenures with the Lakers.
In that sense, the Lakers sorely missed Bradley, no better showcase than Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans in which the effort was never apparent. Although he was improved in Tuesday’s loss to Dallas, there is currently one area where Bradley could add value.
Bradley’s sudden appearance on the injury report was surprising and caused him to miss four straight games. Ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks, head coach Frank Vogel provided an update on how Bradley was injured and how his status is changing.
“I’m just not sure of the exact terminology behind it,” Vogel said. “Something happened, I think, in that last Golden State game that led to some swelling. Until the swelling goes down, he’ll be out. But it’s not something that’s supposed to be long term. It’s still day to day. He was out in the field working, he was sweating yesterday and he’s getting closer.
The signing of DJ Augustin and continued solid play from Austin Reaves and Malik Monk might limit some of Bradley’s minutes, but in the short term, their presence helps absorb at least some of what Bradley brings to the table.
DJ Augustin signing a clue to Kendrick Nunn’s status?
The signing of DJ Augustin was surprising both in terms of player signed and position. Not a dire need for the Lakers — at least as much as other positions — Augustin’s signing came as a surprise.
One theory could be that the team could become increasingly pessimistic that Kendrick Nunn won’t return at all this season and Augustin could at least provide something long term.
Nunn recently began another build-up process with hopes of returning in late March, but Vogel said Tuesday that Nunn’s signing and rehab were unrelated.
“We just don’t know about Kendrick,” Vogel said. “We’re still hoping he comes back and is able to speed up and do it painlessly and the MRI gets back to where we want to see him. It hasn’t happened yet so until we saw him on the floor again, we need help in that position with that skill set.
At the current rate of Lakers play and based on Nunn’s rehabilitation throughout the year, the Lakers could be completely out of the qualifying race by the time he returns. If he even comes back.
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