Lakers battle injuries as season approaches

Friday evening, Russell Westbrook came on from the bench for the first time since his rookie season, what Darvin Ham said was “re-appointment, not removal.” Five minutes into Westbrook’s Man of the Year campaign, he limped in the dressing room with a hamstring injury.

Westbrook joins a growing list of Lakers who are gearing up to head into the season. Anthony Davis missed the second game of pre-season with defender strain, but he will play in the opener. Juan Toscano-Anderson also suffered a back injury.

A team with the league’s sixth-oldest squad should have back problems, but even younger players are suffering back pain. Troy Brown Jr missed the entire season last season and won’t be available for the opening game because of a back injury. He turns 23 in July.

Lonnie Walker IV has an injured ankle, and Dennis Schroder’s finger injury could keep him out for a while.

So that’s six injured players for a team that isn’t deep to begin with. Backup Center Thomas Bryant will return from a long-term injury, and starting center-forward Damian Jones is said to have played less than 200 games in a six-year career. In addition, Davis still Reluctant play center.

No wonder Davis considers the Lakers the “underdog”.

The first thing they have to prove? That they can stay healthy all season. Or, at least, a whole season ago.


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