Lakers News: Larry Nance, Jr. out 4 weeks with bone bruise on left knee

© Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Larry Nance, Jr. for approximately four weeks as he nurses a bone bruise on his left knee, the team announced Sunday. Nance, Jr. suffered the injury during the Lakers’ game against the Charlotte Hornets, immediately asking to be taken out of the game after tweaking his knee.

X-rays were immediately negative, and the team went on to announce he would be out indefinitely due to a bone bruise following MRI results. He was re-examined by team doctors prior to the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the LA Clippers and the bone bruise was confirmed with swelling down five days after the injury occurred. The new timetable isn’t great, but a four-week timetable is better than an indefinite one. That Nance, Jr. won’t need surgery on his left knee is another bright side to the latest bump to sideline a Laker.

Thomas Robinson will likely continue seeing extending playing time in Nance, Jr.’s absence, while Julius Randle will have to hold the power forward fort down for the next month. Robinson is averaging 11.5 rebounds and 18.8 minutes per game in the two games since Nance, Jr.’s injury.

The Lakers’ bench has been one of the team’s brightest points through the season, making the absence of Leaping Larry for the next month a tough blow for the Lakers. It could always be worse, but losing Nance, Jr. isn’t ideal while the team flounders after a tough December.


Lakers F Larry Nance Jr. out 4 weeks with bone bruise


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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. will be out for approximately four weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee.

The Lakers announced the diagnosis Sunday night.

Nance was hurt during the Lakers’ loss at Charlotte on Dec. 20 and was re-examined by team doctors Sunday.

The second-year pro is a key reserve for Los Angeles, averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Nance became the latest Lakers regular with a long-term injury diagnosis on the same night that Tarik Black and Jose Calderon returned to uniform for a game against the Clippers. Black had missed nine of the previous 10 games with a sprained right ankle, while Calderon had missed 11 games with a right hamstring strain.


Lakers report: Larry Nance Jr. will be out four weeks

Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. was examined by the team doctor Sunday before the Lakers played the Clippers. Through the examination, the team concluded Nance has a bone bruise on his knee and is expected to miss approximately four weeks.

Nance suffered the injury in the third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday while he was chasing after a loose ball. He needed help from two teammates so he could leave the court without putting pressure on his left leg.

The Lakers flew to Miami the next day and Nance had an MRI exam there. Because of swelling in his knee, the MRI was inconclusive for anything other than the bone bruise.

Nance’s examination Sunday did not include an MRI.

Although Nance has had other knee injuries in the past, the most significant have been to his right knee.

Nance’s injury continues an injury-riddled December for the Lakers. They began it without either member of their starting backcourt as Nick Young recovered from a strained right calf muscle and D’Angelo Russell worked to recover from a left knee injury for which he had a platelet-rich plasma injection.

The Lakers have also been without backup center Tarik Black (sprained ankle) and reserve point guard Jose Calderon (strained right hamstring) for most of the month. Black and Calderon both were active on Sunday.

Ball stalling

Part of Lakers Coach Luke Walton’s philosophy on offense involves the ball moving with ease. Often, the reward is a high number of assists.

During December, a month in which the Lakers won only one game before Sunday night’s matchup with  the Clippers, their assists dropped. In 10 of their 13 games heading into Sunday the Lakers had 20 or fewer assists.

To Walton, that’s not always the result of poor ball movement. In some of those games, the Lakers struggled to make shots, which affect assist numbers. They are also learning to make the easy pass to the next open man.

“A bigger issue for us is we have guys that aren’t ready to pass,” Walton said. “D’Angelo cuts very well without the ball. Lou Williams will cut without it. Jordan Clarkson, Julius [Randle] is starting to dive more instead of hanging around the perimeter. But a lot of times when that’s happening we’re not ready to deliver the pass. I think once we get better at that, and some guys start getting hit for backdoor layups, then it will kind of be that effect of, ‘OK, if I do cut I’m gonna get two points on it.’”

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