CHICAGO (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Nick Young for two to four weeks due to a strained right calf muscle, adding another injury to an already depleted backcourt.
Young was hurt in the first quarter Tuesday night in a 105-88 loss at New Orleans. He had an MRI on Wednesday in Chicago.
“He’s been playing great, such a huge part of what we’ve done so far,” first-year coach Luke Walton said. “Obviously, it’s a big blow to our team and what we’re trying to do, but that’s part of life in the NBA. So we’ll figure it out and keep going forward.”
Los Angeles already was missing D’Angelo Russell, who has been hampered by left knee soreness. Forward Julius Randle, who helped the Lakers to a 96-90 victory over the Bulls on Wednesday night, missed three games with a hip injury before returning against the Pelicans.
Russell hasn’t played since Nov. 20, missing six straight games. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection last Wednesday, but is believed to be at least another week away from returning.
“It’s coming along,” Walton said. “He did some non-weight-bearing underwater treadmill the other day in New Orleans and says his knee feels good. But again, it’s nothing we’re going to rush.”
Young came up lame after trying to defend Tim Frazier’s fast-break layup. He hopped on his left leg to the scorers’ table and then went to the floor to await trainers.
He was eventually carried off the court toward the visitors’ locker room.
“Can’t catch a break,” Young said, “especially with the run we’re on, it’s a crucial time for us. We’ve been going up and down, trying to stay in the playoff race, and do all the things we want to do. It’s tough.”
There was some concern that Young had a more serious Achilles injury, but the MRI revealed the calf issue.
“That’s what I feel more better about,” Young said, “that it ain’t the worst and it’s something I can come back from quicker than sitting out a whole year.”
The 31-year-old Young is averaging 13.3 points in 18 games. He also is shooting 41.8 percent (46 for 110) from 3-point range.
Rookie Brandon Ingram started in Young’s spot against Chicago, removing the No. 2 overall pick in the June draft from what has been a potent group of reserves for Los Angeles. The Lakers were leading the NBA in bench scoring with 52.4 points per game coming into the day.
“We’ll take it night to night depending on who we’re playing,” Walton said.