The Los Angeles Lakers announced that point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to miss a “minimum of two weeks” after receiving a PRP injection in his left knee this afternoon. Russell (16.1 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.4 RPG in 2016-17) had missed two of the Lakers’ past three games and appeared to have limited mobility in the 23 minutes he played against the Chicago Bulls last Sunday.
The recovery time for Platelet Rich Plasma injections varies depending upon the severity of the injury and the individual, but Russell is expected to be re-evaluated in one week. Veteran point guard Jose Calderon filled in for Russell in their last game (12 points, six rebounds, four assists in a win over the visiting OKC Thunder), but the team does have several additional options in the event that Russell’s recovery period goes a bit longer than initially anticipated.
Beyond also having seldom-used veteran Marcelo Huertas, Jordan Clarkson (14.9 PPG, 2.3 APG, 2.7 RPG) also has experience running the point. Clarkson may have embraced a role more focused on providing scoring through the first 15 games, but he could be asked to focus on playmaking and generating offense for other players a bit more throughout this stretch.
Coach Luke Walton has continued to encourage rookie Brandon Ingram to initiate the offense and take advantage of his ability to create thus far, so it also leaves the additional option of moving the 6’9 small forward into the starting rotation in order to further balance things if they so choose. In addition to potentially allowing Ingram to have even more of an impact on the way the team starts offensively, he might also be able to help slow some of the opposing perimeter scorers down before they get into a rhythm.
Russell’s loss will be tough as the offense has appeared a bit more stagnant and over-reliant upon iso-sets over stretches of the past few games, but this team has already proven to be pretty resilient over just the first few weeks of the season and does have one of the deeper rotations.
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