Lakers’ nursing injuries to Bryant, Russell, Bass, Randle

first_imgThe Lakers’ training room has suddenly filled up, bringing up reminders of a recent history arguably just as frustrating as the persistent losing and missed playoff appearances. After staying relatively healthy all season, the Lakers (9-31) enter Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans (11-25) at Staples Center with uncertainty surrounding core players. The Lakers listed Kobe Bryant as questionable with a strained right Achilles that kept him out of Sunday’s game. They also listed D’Angelo Russell (sprained right ankle), Julius Randle (bone bruise in right eye) and Brandon Bass (corneal abrasion) in his right eye.Bryant’s injury might raise eyebrows because he needed season-ending surgery on his left Achilles tendon two years ago. Now 37, he also missed four games this month while nursing soreness in his right shoulder. And yet. “Not too concerned about it,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said regarding Bryant, who missed Monday’s practice to receive treatment. “He didn’t seem to be very concerned about it.”Russell vowed he will “try to” play on Tuesday and “test it out.” He missed Sunday’s loss to Utah, lasted only eight minutes in Friday’s game against Oklahoma City and left the end of Thursday’s loss in Sacramento. “I wouldn’t let anything come in between finishing that game,” Russell said. “But I physically couldn’t do it. I felt it was smart not to.”Russell saw doctors on Monday who confirmed with x-rays that his injury is nothing more than a sprained right ankle. Yet, Russell still has trouble cutting and running. “He still has that pain in there. So you have to be very cautious with that,” Scott said. “It’s hard to get to 100 percent at this point in time of the season. We don’t want the young fella out there limping around.”Still, Scott and Bryant have praised Russell in recent days for at least trying. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “That’s something you always want, respect from your peers,” Russell said. “To have that respect is great. I just got to keep it.”Different approachScott has a different approach to improving the shooting consistency from his starting forward (Larry Nance Jr.) and reserve forward (Randle). With Nance Jr. shooting 4 of 11 from the field on Sunday against Utah, Scott has advised him to keep shooting, partly because he has shot 54 percent from the field.“When he’s passing it back out, two things happen. He’s starting to lose confidence and we’re running out of time,” Scott said. “You have to take that first available shot.”With Randle shooting only 40.3 percent from the field, Scott has reiterated to Randle to still take open shots while remaining mindful it will require mechanical adjustments in the offseason.“We don’t have that much time to work on it like we want to,” Scott said. “What I’m trying to do with (Randle) is to tell him to keep shooting when he has opportunities to shoot it.”last_img

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