Lakers' D'Angelo Russell out at least 2 weeks after knee injection
JANIE McCAULEY | Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell will be out for at least two more weeks after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection in his sore left knee Wednesday.
Russell has missed two of the Lakers’ last three games with soreness in his knee, but the second-year point guard had thought it wasn’t a serious injury. He will be re-evaluated next week before the Lakers decide how long he will sit.
Russell only missed two games last season as a rookie. He is second on the revitalized Lakers with 16.1 points per game, and he leads the team with 4.8 assists.
“Disappointing because we’ll definitely miss that but more as we continue to try to build something and now he’s not out there being part of that, he’s not learning and building the trust that you’re trying to get when players are together for a long time,” first-year coach Luke Walton said before his team faced the familiar Golden State Warriors. “He misses a couple weeks of that, but yeah we’ll definitely miss what he’s been doing for us so far this year.”
Walton said he is unsure how long Russell has been in pain, but it did get worse. Russell’s injury caught the coach off guard because he was limping at practice and not running well, so he was taken out.
Walton said he “likes to keep it pretty positive,” and isn’t yet concerned about Russell potentially needing surgery.
“They tell me they think this is going to help get him to get him back out there, then I’m going with the belief that in two weeks he’ll be ready to play again,” Walton said.
Jose Calderon moved into the starting lineup against the Warriors in Walton’s return to Oracle Arena to face the team he helped coach to a runner-up finish in the NBA Finals last season. Calderon also started the two previous games Russell missed. The veteran Spanish guard scored a season-high 12 points in the Lakers’ 111-109 victory over Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
In addition, forward Julius Randle was out with a hip pointer. He tried to play through it Tuesday.
“Obviously he didn’t look like the same that he’s been the last couple games before that,” Walton said. “Pretty painful every time he cuts or tries to make a basketball move, so we’re going to sit him out tonight and try to get him back soon, too.”