Lakers downplay Wesley Johnson’s left knee injury

SAN DIEGO – As if the Lakers could afford more injuries.

Lakers forward Wesley Johnson suffered a patellar tendon strain in left knee in the team’s 98-95 preseason victory on Monday over the Denver Nuggets here at Valley View Casino Center. This may have heightened concern considering the Lakers are thin at the small forward spot with Nick Young (torn ligament in right thumb), Ryan Kelly (strained left hamstring) and Xavier Henry (back spasms). But the Lakers generally downplayed the injury with Johnson saying his “knee buckled.”

Lakers coach Byron Scott said the initial diagnosis suggests a “little tendinitis,” though the Lakers will further evaluate during Tuesday’s practice.

“It’ll be a little sore,” Scott said. But there’s nothing that can stop him from playing.”

Scott plans to have a relatively light session on Tuesday before having a more strenuous practice on Wednesday. The Lakers then host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at Staples Center.

Johnson’s role becomes heightened considering the Lakers’ depleting depth at small forward. He posted nine points on 4-of-6 shooting in 24 minutes.

“I liked what I saw from Wesley, especially on the defensive end,” Scott said. “I got to get him a little bit more involved offensively. Btu defensively I like what I saw.”


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