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Injury Update (10/26/14)
Only 10 players will be available for the Lakers in their season opener against the Houston Rockets.
Wayne Ellington (concussion) and Ryan Kelly (hamstring) have both been ruled out for Tuesday’s matchup. They join fellow injured Lakers Steve Nash, Nick Young and Xavier Henry.
Ellington suffered his injury during a collision with Sacramento’s Ben McLemore in the fourth quarter of Friday’s preseason finale. Kelly has missed the entire preseason due to injuries to both hamstrings.
Though Ronnie Price (knee) is probable for Tuesday, Jeremy Lin will start in his first game with the Lakers. Lin averaged 12.4 points and 6.2 assists in five preseason contests.
“It’s one of those things where you kinda show up and it’s like those Tuesday night rec-league games,” Lin said. “It’s like: ‘Which one of my teammates is here today. Who’s able to play today?’ Today, we didn’t have enough to go 5-on-5.”
Price and Ellington’s injuries also potentially open up more playing time for Jordan Clarkson, who could see minutes at point guard, which head coach Byron Scott says he’s comfortable with.
“(Scott) hasn’t said much in terms of what I have to do, but I feel like I’m gonna get an opportunity to play,” Clarkson said. “I’m gonna get thrown in the fire, so I’m gonna just come in here and do my best.”
Bryant’s Plan Unchanged
Despite a lack of ballhandlers, Scott insisted that Kobe playing time will not be affected by his teammate’s injuries. Bryant averaged 26.7 minutes in six preseason games.
“We got a certain number (of minutes) in mind,” Scott said. “We’re gonna stick to that certain number as much as possible. And like I said earlier in training camp and even before we got started, I’m not gonna sacrifice a game for his health.
“We’ve felt the number we all came to an agreement is a number that is obtainable and a number that he can play at a very high level. But it’s also a number that keeps him fresh in March and April.”
Henry Likely Out
Scott said it is unlikely Henry will play on opening night, saying, “Even if he’s healthy and he’s good enough to go, he probably won’t play.”
Henry, who had offseason knee surgery, recently returned from a trip to New York City for a second opinion and to Dusseldorf, Germany, for more treatment.
Jordan Hill, who sat out the Lakers’ final preseason game with a neck strain, is listed as probable.
Due to injuries, looks like LAL will have only 10 bodies for the opener: Lin/Kobe/Johnson/Boozer/Hill; Price/Clarkson/Randle/Davis/Sacre.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 26, 2014
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