The Lakers have ruled Kent Bazemore out for the season after an MRI revealed a torn tendon in his right foot.
For those counting, that puts the Lakers (25-52) heading into Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets (51-25) at Staples Center fielding nearly as many injured players (seven) as healthy ones (eight) suited enough to play.
The Lakers have already penciled out Pau Gasol, who has missed the seven of the past eight games because of vertigo. Chris Kaman (strained right calf) is listed as doubtful, while Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back) is listed as questionable. Although Jordan Farmar has said he will play Tuesday after sitting out the past 11 games because of a strained right groin, the Lakers are also listing him as questionable. Meanwhile, the Lakers also have season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee) and Xavier Henry (torn ligament in left wrist, bone bruise in right knee).
Bazemore sprained his foot in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 120-97 loss Sunday to the Clippers at a designated road game at Staples Center. Bazemore was simply handling the ball at the top of the key before feeling what he described as a “pop,” but attributed the injury toward “overuse.”
The Lakers acquired Bazemore from Golden State and has averaged 13.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28 minutes through 23 games with the Lakers, a sharp increase from the 2.3 points per average in 6.1 minutes through 44 contests this season with the Warriors.
“It’s no one’s fault,” Bazemore said. “It’s just the penalty of working hard and playing a lot of minutes. It happens.”
Bazemore’s latest injury should open up time for a flurry of wing players, including Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and possibly even Marshon Brooks, who has appeared in nine of the last 15 games. He has averaged seven points in 15 games since the Lakers acquired him in the Golden State deal, which sent Steve Blake to the Warriors.
Bazemore, 24, will become a restricted free agent in July after making $762,195 this season. The Lakers have liked Bazemore’s energy, defense and willingness to correct his mistakes, including his shot selection and playmaking.