The Lakers suffered a remarkable 191 games missed due to injury before the All-Star break, by far the most in the NBA:
Kobe Bryant: 47
Steve Nash: 41
Jordan Farmar: 30
Steve Blake: 26
Xavier Henry: 22
Pau Gasol: 9
Chris Kaman: 5
Jodie Meeks: 5
Nick Young: 4
Wesley Johnson: 1
Jordan Hill: 1
On Tuesday in El Segundo, L.A. returned from the All-Star break; here’s an update on each player either returning from injury or still in line to miss games moving forward:
Meeks sprained his ankle on Feb. 4 in the first quarter at Minnesota and missed the remaining five games prior to the All-Star break, but is the lone Laker expected to return from the pre-break injured list against Houston on Wednesday. Meeks said the ankle was feeling good, and he’s ready to play.
According to the Lakers, Kobe Bryant continues to have swelling and pain in his knee, and thus does not have an MRI scheduled in the immediate future. Bryant was last examined prior to the Lakers vs. Pacers game on Jan. 28, when a similar conclusion on the left knee where he suffered a fracture at Memphis on Dec. 17 was reached. His subsequent rehabilitation has been limited mostly to work on a stationary bike. Bryant recently addressed the media in advance of the 2014 All-Star Game on Sunday and gave another general update on where he’s at in his recovery and rehab process.
Gasol practiced in full on Tuesday, and said afterwards that he felt “a lot better,” if still not 100 percent in his first action in approximately two weeks. He’ll most likely be listed as “questionable” for Wednesday’s game, waiting to see how his body responds to Tuesday’s work out. Gasol underwent an MRI on Feb. 1, which revealed a strained right groin. He received a PRP injection on Feb. 3, but was sidelined for the team’s last six games before the All-Star break.
Farmar is listed as “doubtful” for Wednesday’s game despite practicing in full on Tuesday. He returned from a one-month absence at Cleveland on Feb. 5 before exiting with cramps in his calf. He was listed as day-to-day, according to coach Mike D’Antoni, but missed the final five games leading up to the All-Star break. Two separate hamstring tears kept him out of most of December and January, and the left hamstring got tight once again in that win at Cleveland. Post practice, Farmar acknowledged the hamstring “feels fine,” and remains optimistic he will be back on the court soon.
Henry had his right knee drained of fluid and received a cortisone shot on Feb. 12, and expected to be out another four weeks. He originally injured his knee on Dec. 29 vs. Philly, but is expected to be re-evaluated on Friday.
Young injured his left knee at Cleveland on Feb. 5 and underwent an MRI the following day in Philly. He was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise, and expected to be out a minimum of two weeks before being re-evaluated. Young was unable to practice on Tuesday, and will not play against Houston.