Lakers taking cautious approach with Ryan Kelly

With a surgically repaired right foot still healing, there’s not much second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly could do with the Lakers.

He couldn’t participate in any pre-draft workouts and fell to the 48th overall pick perhaps because of that reality. The former Duke product didn’t play on the Lakers’ summer league team. Only nine days before Lakers’ training camp begins, Kelly spent part of Thursday running at 75 percent of his body weight on a treadmill. Although he described Kelly as “completely asymptomatic,” Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti said that the training staff has taken a conservative approach toward Kelly’s rehab, making it unclear when he will return to the court.

Kelly has already gone through plenty, having surgery in April to repair a screw that was initially inserted in his right foot in March 2012 to treat a broken bone.

“Ryan has already done this twice. So this makes us want to take this really slowly and bring him back one step at at time,” Vitti said Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “We want to make sure the screw is in there and the bone is healed around the screw.”

The 6’11” Kelly could help the Lakers. His floor spacing and mid-range jumper helped him average 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots his senior season at Duke while shooting 42% from three-point range. But the Lakers have yet to sign Kelly.

Should he fully recover, Kelly could compete for a roster spot during training camp against Marcus Landry, Elias Harris, Xavier Henry and Shawne Williams, all whom signed one-year deals this summer with the Lakers. The Lakers have a league-maximum 15 players under contract, though they’re expected to field 18-20 players during training camp from Sept. 28 to Oct. 25.


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