Jordan Hill not yet cleared for contact

LAS VEGAS — Despite playing in about two-thirds of Thursday’s practice involving non-contact drills, Lakers forward Jordan Hill hasn’t shown enough improvement in his herniated disk for him to make the next step in rehabbing his herniated disk.

“They said he did a nice job for it being non contact,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown
said regarding the training staff.following the Lakers’ shootaround Friday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Lakers play there will play the Sacramento Kings here tonight in their fifth preseason game. “What they’re looking at now is they will continue to evaluate him and decide when they can go from having no contact to him having contact. But right now, Jordan can’t have contact.”

The Lakers haven’t put a timetable on Jordan’s return, other than ruling him out for tonight’s game against Sacramento. Hill is expected to provide plenty of energy and size on the Lakers’ bench unit. In the Lakers’ preseason debut Oct. 7 against Golden State in Fresno, Hill posted 10 points on five-of-11 shooting in 20 minutes, providing a mix of hustle plays and some surprisingly outside range.

After Friday’s game, the Lakers have four remaining preseason games, including Sunday against the Kings at Staples Center, Oct. 24 against the Clippers at Staples Center and Oct. 25 against the Kings in San Diego. Brown concluded Hill is “probably further behind than Dwight [Howard],” who has continued rehabbing from his back surgery in April.

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