Lakers Starter Less Than ‘100%’ After Injury

Getty Images Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers played their most recent game without guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but he’s hoping to be on the court sooner than later following an ankle sprain.

Caldwell-Pope gave an update on his injury while speaking to reporters on Monday.

“Ankle is feeling great,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I practiced today and got a little movement in. Still not 100%, but hopefully I’ll be able to go tomorrow. Depends on how I feel.”

The Lakers have officially listed the 27-year-old guard as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies.

KCP: Lakers Bench Deep Enough to Take Time Recovering

Caldwell-Pope is averaging 23.8 minutes per game, posting 10 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He’s shooting 52.6 percent from beyond the arc. He’s not worried about hurrying back considering the players the Lakers have waiting in the wings.

“I feel like our bench is deep enough for me to take my time coming back,” Caldwell-Pope said, per Harrison Faigen of SB Nation. “We’ve just got a group of guys who had this concept last year, the next man up mentality. And we still have that mentality here. I feel like just taking my time and making sure I’m 100 percent [is important].”

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Evolving Into Leader

Caldwell-Pope, who is starting his fourth season with the Lakers, would like to be on the court, but he’s not dwelling too much on the injury. He is trying to take in the positives and make an impact while off the court.

“Only frustration was I wanted to be out there with my brothers playing but, unfortunately, I had to sit out,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “But, you know, just sitting down watching the game, actually seeing what’s going on out there actually was good. My experience was good from the bench. I got to help the young guys out, even some of the new guys. So just talking to them, talking to everybody, just felt good to be able to see it from the bench perspective.”

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel commended Caldwell-Pope for his newfound leadership role and how he’s been helping out other players, like young gun Talen Horton-Tucker.

“He’s in the second year of our system [and is] more comfortable and more comfortable in his role,” Vogel said. “And when you get more comfortable in a system, in a role, you’re more confident to step up in leadership situations and help someone like Talen with some coverages or things like that.

“KCP drew the biggest assignment defensively on a championship run, you know what I mean? So he’s got a pretty strong pedigree there and to see him sharing with his knowledge and helping some of the young guys is a good sign.”

The Lakers have been one of the more well-rounded teams when it comes to scoring thanks to their deep roster. Six players were in double figures in their latest win against the Grizzlies, including Wes Matthews (14 points) and Montrezl Harrell (16 points) off the bench.

The Lakers are listed as 9-point favorites for Tuesday’s matchup with Memphis, per Odds Shark.

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