Trevor Ariza speaks to the media

Injury Update: Trevor Ariza

by Mike Trudell

On Monday afternoon, prior to the team’s flight to Sacramento, Trevor Ariza addressed reporters for the first time since he underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his right ankle on Oct. 6. There remains no official timetable for his return to the court, though Ariza is nearing the eight-week mark upon which he’s expected to be re-evaluated by team doctors. In the meantime, he continues to focus on his rehabilitation.

“I’ve been just starting to run on my own,” he explained, after stating that he has indeed been feeling better. “On my own body weight. Been on the court shooting. Going through movements that I would probably have to get used to doing again. Conditioning. Sprinting. Lifting. Shooting. A whole lot of that.”

It’s been a process for the 6’8’’ wing, who’d previously been doing conditioning on some of the machines that put less stress on the body, like the Alter-G treadmill, or in a pool.

“I don’t have a definite date or anything like that,” he continued. “It’s all on when the doctors clear or the way my body feels and responds to more loading, more work. That’s kind of the gauge on when I’ll be able to be out there safely.”

In the meantime, Ariza’s been focused on staying locked in mentally, and being an active participant on the bench during games and at practices.

“Absolutely … I’m always looking to learn, looking to try to insert myself into certain situations where I can see where I can help our team be better in certain situations,” he said. “That’s why I overcommunicate, that’s why I’m on the sidelines going up and down talking to (Rajon) Rondo consistently about different scenarios, situations, talking to the coaches about different scenarios and situations just to stay engaged so I don’t get too far out of what we’re doing and where we’re going. So when I am inserted and whenever I’m called on I’m able to caught up to speed.”

Frank Vogel has repeatedly mentioned the importance of Ariza to what the Lakers want to accomplish on the floor, as they don’t have another wing of his size that can credibly defend the NBA’s biggest perimeter talents, and also help protect the paint from the weak side, a role that’s been critical alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“We haven’t done it with a full roster yet so I bring a completely different element to this team, so hopefully when I am able to participate and Kendrick (Nunn) is able to come back and play -- the things that we do, the little things that we do can kind of put our team together,” he continued. “Like for example, like, throughout my career I’ve been like a piece that you can plug in and just do different things and make a difference, so whenever I get on the court that’s what I’m trying to do.”

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