A MRI taken on Monday shows that Lakers forward Wesley Johnson has a strained tendon in his left foot.
The Lakers are listing Johnson as day-to-day, so it’s still possible he could play the Lakers’ preseason game Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
Johnson left with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter of the Lakers’ 97-88 preseason loss to the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center after feeling what Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni described as a “burning sensation” in his foot.
It’s far too early to tell if the Johnson’s injury continues last season’s trend where the Lakers seemingly never left the trainer’s room. But it’s clear that Johnson hasn’t had the preseason he envisioned when he boldly told this newspaper he’d overcome his perception as a bust after having three uneventful seasons in Minnesota and Phoenix after becoming the fourth pick of the 2010 NBA Draft.
“I’m coming at everybody’s head,” Johnson said. “It’s no more nice-guy.”
Through two games, Johnson has appeared noticeably more assertive in past season, but perhaps to a fault. Johnson posted two points on 1 of 3 shooting in 11 minutes in the Lakers’ preseason win Saturday over Golden State, and followed up with two points on 1 of 5 shooting in eight minutes against Denver before leaving the court to care for his foot.
Yet, Johnson has shown promise, particularly with his length and hustle sneaking into the lane on offensive rebounds.
“It could be two bad games,” D’Antoni said. “It could be whatever. I told him today, ‘Look at the film.’ I don’t think he played well, but when he’s on the floor we’re a better team. He makes us better. That should be comforting that he doesn’t have to press. As we go forward, I think he’ll get his rhythm.”
Depending on his health, Johnson may have to wait.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org