The Los Angeles Lakers announced a devastating Mo Bamba injury update on March 9. The big man, who injured his left ankle on March 5 against the Golden State Warriors, has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain.
Bamba, 24, will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks.
The Lakers acquired Bamba from the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline for Patrick Beverley. The Texas product is averaging 4.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in seven games with Los Angeles while shooting 41.7% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc.
The purple and gold have a roster spot open, so they can sign someone to replace Bamba.
Mo Bamba Joins LeBron James on the Injured List
Bamba joins LeBron James on the injured list. James has a right foot tendon injury and is currently in a walking boot. Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report reported on March 2 that James won’t require surgery on his injured foot.
“So what I can say on LeBron is that sources did inform me that he will not require surgery,” Haynes said on Episode 12 of his “#thisleague UNCUT” podcast with Marc Stein. “That’s good news for the Lakers. So right now, it’s all about time and the rehabbing process.”
James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists this season while shooting 50.1% overall, 30.8% from beyond the 3-point line and 75.9% from the charity stripe. The Lakers hope that the four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP can return before the regular season ends, sources told Heavy Sports.
After the Lakers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on February 28, Anthony Davis sent a strong message to James. AD doesn’t want LeBron to rush back from his injury.
“What I don’t want is him to rush back really early. …I want him to get completely right and healthy before he steps on the floor,” Davis said. “Like I said, it’s on us, other guys in this locker room, to step up and continue to win basketball games.”
Davis is averaging 33.8 points and 13.5 rebounds since James has been out. The Chicago native will need to continue to play like a superstar until James and Bamba return to the lineup.
“He’s playing like a monster, man,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said about Davis after Los Angeles beat Memphis on March 7. “It’s so fun to just watch him play free, play happy and just make plays all over the place. … He’s been tremendous.”
D’Angelo Russell Could Return Soon
Lakers starting point guard D’Angelo Russell could make his return to the lineup on March 10 against the Toronto Raptors. He’s missed six straight games due to a right ankle injury he suffered in the first game after the All-Star break versus the Warriors.
“The Lakers could be getting reinforcement on Friday, as they are targeting their matchup with the Raptors as the return date for D’Angelo Russell, who has missed the past six games with an ankle injury he suffered in the first game after the All-Star break,” Jovan Buha of The Athletic wrote on March 7. “Russell has been listed as day-to-day for nearly two weeks. Though he was ruled out before his pregame workout Tuesday, he still worked out on the Crypto.com Arena hardwood an hour before tip-off, going through a series of dribbling and shooting drills. Russell is the only Laker who won’t be resting on Wednesday, as the Lakers are putting him through a playgroup.”
Russell is averaging 17.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists this season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lakers. The lefty is putting up 13.5 points and 5.0 assists per game in four starts with Los Angeles.