Prior to his injury, Kuzma had looked to take some major steps forward in his development heading into his third season. Working hard in the offseason to make adjustments to an inconsistent outside shot while getting valuable time to learn under legendary defensive wizard Gregg Popovich, Kuzma looked excellent in USA Basketball’s early exhibition games. Thankfully his injury was caught early on and doesn’t seem to be something that should keep him on the shelf for all that much longer.
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Kyle Kuzma Injury: Latest Updates & When Lakers Forward May Return
Though ruled out for tonight’s game against the Jazz, the latest videos of Kuzma working out are extremely promising. Cleared for basketball activities within the last week, Kuzma already seems to be running drills at close to full speed. Kuzma has cryptically tweeted about being close to a return though an exact timeline has yet to be established by either Kuzma or the Lakers.
While there isn’t any official word just yet, don’t be surprised to see Kuzma potentially suiting up as soon as early November. Beyond being cleared for basketball activities, Kuzma will be cleared for full contact at some point next week, meaning his return to the regular season should be in close tow.
Kuzma’s absence has been felt so far in the preseason and the season opener as the Lakers have lacked any sort of scoring presence off the bench. With the leading scorers from the bench (Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels) only chipping in six points apiece, the Lakers bench’ was thoroughly outscored by the Clippers’ bench unit 60-19. Kuzma should be able to step in and help almost immediately. Expected to serve as the sixth man upon his return, Kuzma looks to slot into a high volume scoring role seeing around 30 minutes per game.
Looking Ahead at the Lakers’ Schedule
After a tough pair of games to open the season against the Clippers and Utah Jazz, the Lakers schedule lightens up for a brief stretch. They have two home games against teams not expected to sniff the playoffs in the Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies before taking to the road for a stretch of games against the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls.
The Spurs were the only team in that group to even make the playoffs last season and the Lakers have a prime opportunity to pick up a few much-needed wins in what is expected to be a heated race for the Western Conference. Dallas could pose an issue with their exciting young duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, though they are considered a fringe playoff contender in the West and someone the Lakers should expect to win against if they are indeed the championship contender many think they are.