Drummond was limited to just 14 minutes in his debut, scoring four points and grabbing just a pair of rebounds — hardly the debut he was imagining.
Drummond, who picked up the start, said the injury happened in the first quarter when Bucks big man Brook Lopez stepped on his foot.
“I didn’t really think anything of it,” Drummond told reporters after the game. “I came back in the second quarter and it was hurting a little bit more. And then after halftime, I finally took my sock off to look and my whole toenail was gone. So, it was just all bad from there. I couldn’t walk or run. So I just told Coach [Frank Vogel] to take me out.”
Drummond decided to sign with the Lakers after agreeing to a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, calling LA the “best fit” among his suitors. Wednesday marked not only his first game as a Laker, but was also his first action since February 12.
“What do you do for a toe? I don’t know,” said Drummond, who wore sandals during his postgame interview. “I’m not really sure what to do. I’m just going to talk to the training staff and find out what’s the best thing to do to get back as quick as possible.”
Lakers Not Worried About Mounting Injury Issues
“X-rays were negative” on Drummond’s toe, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, but there is uncertainty around when he could return. With both LeBron James and Anthony Davis recovering from injuries, Drummond was expected to be a nice boost for the roster.
Now, the Lakers will have to make due as they head into a tough April.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said the team is only focusing on what they can control as they look to keep pace in the highly competitive Western Conference. Another loss could drop the Lakers to sixth in the West, with Portland and Denver just a half-game behind.
“We don’t worry about that,” Vogel said. “We worry about the guys in uniform. We know we have enough. We have a deep team. We’ve been playing better basketball, and we know we can win. Our group is going to grind.”
Marc Gasol Slides to Reserve Role
With Drummond in the starting lineup, veteran center Marc Gasol slid to the bench. He played just six minutes and didn’t see the court until the fourth quarter of the blowout loss to the Bucks. Gasol declined to speak with the media after the game, but his teammates gave him a vote of support.
“Obviously, it’s not easy by any means. Give that man his credit,” Lakers guard Wesley Matthews — who has dealt with his own role issues — told reporters. “We love what we do and we compete and we’re ultra competitors, and that’s never easy for anybody in that position.
“For him to step up like he did and make the plays that he made and to be there and supportive of us the whole time, I mean, I got nothing but respect for him.”
Gasol, who turned 36 in January, is averaging just 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds this season.