Injuries are already starting to creep in for the Los Angeles Lakers, and we’re just in the preseason. After missing L.A.’s exhibition game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, the team announced Tuesday. He will be reevaluated in four weeks by team doctors.
This comes on the heels of the announcement that Lakers forward Trevor Ariza would miss two months due to a right ankle injury, in addition to Malik Monk expected to miss about a week with a groin injury. Suddenly the Lakers depth on the wing is becoming incredibly thin.
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Horton-Tucker’s absence as a key role player on both ends of the floor will surely be felt in the Lakers rotation. In what was previously expected to be a crowded backcourt with some guys fighting to get minutes, suddenly is a little more open now with injuries to both Horton-Tucker and Monk. Players like Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore and Wayne Ellington will be expected to fill some of those minutes.
If Horton-Tucker and Monk’s injuries linger longer than expected, the Lakers could look to bring someone in as stopgap until players get healthy. Perhaps that could lead to James Ennis joining the team. After all, the 31-year-old forward has been openly lobbying for a spot on the roster. He’s a capable defender, and last season shot 43 percent from deep with the Orlando Magic.
It could be an easy solution for the time being, but whether the Lakers decide to sign someone or deal with the roster issues internally, it sounds like L.A. will enter the season hobbled, which will only put more responsibility on LeBron James and Anthony Davis.