Lakers’ Timofey Mozgov expects to play in preseason finale despite tailbone injury

SAN DIEGO — The fall ended with a loud thud. That preceded Timofey Mozgov lying for a few seconds motionless on the floor. Soon after, Mozgov went to the locker room midway through the third quarter of the Lakers’ 123-112 exhibition loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday at Valley View Casino Center, never to return.

Despite nursing a bruised tailbone, Mozgov stood by his locker afterwards expressing confidence he will return for the Lakers’ preseason finale against the Phoenix Suns on Friday at Anaheim’s Honda Center.

“You see I’m walking?” Mozgov told Southern California News Group. “I’m still alive. It’s stiff a little bit right now, but it’s okay.”

Mozgov still struggled bending over as he tied his shoes. He also walked slowly in the locker room. And the Lakers will still reevaluate him during Thursday’s practice. But Mozgov predicted that “I’ll be all right.”

He hardly felt that way when he fell on the ground after chasing for a rebound and jumping into Lakers forward Julius Randle.

“At the first minute, it was really bad,” Mozgov said. “But I can walk right now.”

Lakers coach Luke Walton hardly sounded concerned that Mozgov left the game with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

“He’s good; just a tailbone,” Walton said. “But with preseason, we weren’t going to put him back in.”


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