Within a two-day span, Nick Young’s expected return time shortened by about two weeks.
After his agent anticipated Young missing the next six to eight weeks because of a torn ligament in his right thumb that will require surgery, Lakers coach Byron Scott said on Sunday that he has been told his absence would likely last anywhere between four to six weeks.
The Lakers will not know definitively until Young has surgery with Dr. Steven Shin of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic on Monday.
Young spent Sunday’s practice working on dribbling drills with his left hand and challenging forward Xavier Henry to a foul shooting contest. That entailed Young (left) and Henry (right) shooting with their non-shooting hand. Henry has also stayed sidelined for the past week because of back spasms while also rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee.
“Nothing full court and nothing with running,” Scott said about Henry’s work. “He’s still having a little bit of stiffness. We want to see if we can get that going in the next few days before we get him out there.”
The injuries to Young, Henry and Ryan Kelly (strained left hamstring) suddenly leave the Lakers thin at small forward. Wesley Johnson will likely start, while Kobe Bryant will have his minutes shifted
more from shooting guard to small forward. Although Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington could see time, Scott professed uncertainty on how he will fill Young’s absence. He had touted Young as an NBA sixth man of the year candidate after averaging a team-leading 17.9 points last season.
“I’m going to have to think about it,” Scott said. “A lot of times it sorts itself out when you’re watching guys play.”
Byron Scott says Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash “exceeded expectations” in training camp
Nick Young participates in drills despite thumb injury
Lakers, Steve Nash both cautious and optimistic about health