Lakers’ Ryan Kelly out at least six weeks with right hamstring tear

An ultrasound sound taken on Monday showed a tear in Ryan Kelly’s right hamstring, an injury the Lakers said will sideline him for at least six weeks.

Should that timetable hold up, Kelly would not return until late December at the earliest. That ensures that Kelly will miss at least the next 17 games. Kelly has stayed limited for most of this season, averaging 3.7 points in only 8.2 minutes through three games.

He missed all of training camp and the first four games of the regular season because of overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings. Kelly only played for one game before feeling tightness in his right hamstring and missing the following three games. Kelly appeared in the last two contests before leaving with 10:28 left in the second quarter of the Lakers’ loss on Sunday to Golden State.

Kelly stayed in Los Angeles on Monday to have an ultrasound taken by Dr. Luga Podesta of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, while the Lakers (1-9) traveled for a three-game trip this week with stops in Atlanta (Tuesday), Houston (Wednesday) and Dallas (Friday).

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Lakers’ Ryan Kelly suffers strained right hamstring

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Divisions emerge amid Lakers’ 136-115 loss to Golden State

Lakers coach Byron Scott during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)"

Lakers coach Byron Scott during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”

He came into this job determined he could stop the Lakers’ free fall toward mediocrity through a few tactics.

Lakers coach Byron Scott would constantly bring up his expectation to win an NBA title, his history as a three-time league champion during the Showtime Era linking the franchise’s glorious past into its uncertain future. Scott would harp on defense, devoting the majority of his practice time and conversations on revamping that area the Lakers lacked in recent seasons. Scott would lean on Kobe Bryant, confident he could both individually produce and jumpstart an offense after playing only six games last season amid injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee.

But as the Lakers showed in their 136-115 loss on Sunday to the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center, Scott’s expectations have hardly matched the reality.

The Lakers’ 1-9 record cemented their worst start in franchise history. They have stayed dead last in nearly defensive statistical category. Bryant’s season-high 44 points on 15-of-34 shooting represented a season-long trend where he has taken a large majority of the shots. The rest of the Lakers’ starting lineup took a combined 35 field-goal attempts, only one more than Bryant’s outlook. It featured Jeremy Lin going scoreless and taking only two shots. Lakers forwards Carlos Boozer and Wesley Johnson shot a combined 6-of-24 from the field.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have offered the first signs of a fractured team.

That all started when Scott devoted his press conference toward ripping his team’s defensive effort. Scott threatened he is “getting close” toward making lineup changes and altering his defensive schemes. Scott acknowledged “patience is running thin” and assigned heavy blame toward the Lakers’ front-court players for the team’s defensive lapses. He then said he will have “a very short leash” on his rotation when the Lakers play Tuesday in Atlanta.

“You either want to do it, can’t do it or won’t do it,” Scott said. “I got to assume that when I see guys jogging that you’re tired. If I assume that, I have to make changes. It’s that simple.”
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Lakers’ Ryan Kelly suffers strained right hamstring

The Lakers’ string of injuries seem to pile up as quickly as their losses.

The Lakers’ 136-115 defeat Sunday to the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center also featured forward Ryan Kelly suffering a strained right hamstring after playing for only five minutes, 25 seconds. It is not clear what caused the injury, but Kelly left the game with 10:28 left in the second quarter.

Afterwards, Lakers coach Byron Scott reported that Kelly’s latest injury marked a different part of his right hamstring that was previously injured. Kelly has only appeared in three games this season amid overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings. Kelly will see a doctor on Monday, a visit that will determine whether he travels on the Lakers’ three-game trip this week with stops in Atlanta (Tuesday), Houston (Wednesday) and Dallas (Friday).

“It’s unfortunate. I really like Ryan with the way he plays and he knows how to play,” Scott said. “He’s going to give you everything he’s got. Unfortunately for him and us, we haven’t seen enough of that because of the injuries that he’s had. I don’t have a clue how long he will be out.”

Kelly impressed the Lakers last season as a rookie where he averaged eight points per game. He helped the Lakers with their outside shooting, floor spacing and sharp understanding in picking up concepts quickly.

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Kobe Bryant’s playing status uncertain vs. Golden State

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Kobe Bryant’s playing status uncertain vs. Golden State

"The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant #24 during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014. The Spurs beat the Lakers 93-80. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)"

“The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant #24 during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014. The Spurs beat the Lakers 93-80. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant intends to play in Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center after nursing flu-like symptoms in the past two days.

“If I was a betting man,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said, “I would bet he would play.”

Yet, that is not entirely certain.

Bryant did not attend both the Lakers’ morning shootaround session on Sunday and practice on Saturday. Scott reported talking with Bryant Saturday night and revealing he has “felt a whole lot better” after scoring only nine points on 1-of-14 shooting in 36 minutes of the Lakers’ 93-80 loss on Friday to the San Antonio Spurs. Bryant has shot a career-low 36.7 percent through nine games, but his 25.4 points per game averaged represents a rare bright spot amid the Lakers’ 1-8 record.

“I told him to stay home and get some more rest,” Scott said. “‘Hopefully I’ll see you at the arena.’”
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Kobe Bryant expected to play Sunday vs. Golden State

"The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant #24 during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)"

“The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant #24 during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014(Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”

It was only the night before that Kobe Bryant ended his worst shooting performance of his 19-year career battling a viral infection that left him lifeless.

The Lakers’ star conceded uncertainty on how he would face through his latest adversity despite overcoming too many injuries to count. Bryant suggested he would have to change his recovery program. Bryant spoke openly about Father Time delivering a lethal blow that has become harder for the the 36-year-old to overcome in his 19th NBA season.

Yet, the Lakers (1-8) still expect that Bryant will play Sunday when they host the Golden State Warriors (6-2) at Staples Center.

“You would have to amputate his leg for him not to play tomorrow,” Scott said after Saturday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “If he feels 20 percent better than he felt last night, he’ll say I’m good. I never scratch him out of anything except practice. When it comes to playing, he’s the one guy I know that if he can walk, he’s probably going to play.”

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Lakers’ Nick Young says he will make season debut Tuesday

Nick Young was in great spirits after completing his first full practice with the Lakers on Saturday. The jokes were flying as he said he felt comfortable putting up shots and going through the motions for the first time since injuring his right thumb in October.

If all goes to plan, Young is expected to make his season debut on Tuesday when the Lakers face the Atlanta Hawks. Young was quick to share the news with his typical flair.

“The Defensive Player of the Year is here today and he’ll be here Tuesday,” Young said.

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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant plays with probable viral infection vs. Spurs

The Kobe Bryant #24 during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014. The Spurs beat the Lakers 93-80. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

The Kobe Bryant #24 during their game against the Spurs at the Staples Center Friday, November 14, 2014. The Spurs beat the Lakers 93-80. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

The towel draped over Kobe Bryant’s head as he sat on the bench featuring a lifeless stare. He labored as he went up and down the court, each shot that misfired sparking more head scratches that endlessly itched. But Bryant still kept plugging away, eager that he could reverse a poor game on the instant of one clutch basket as he always has done.

This night, it did not happen.

The Lakers ended their Friday with a 93-80 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center, sparking new questions beyond the team’s worst start since the 1957-58 season in Minneapolis. The main concern rested on Bryant, whose nine-point performance on 1-of-14 shooting represented his lowest marks since shooting only 1-of-8 on Feb. 12, 2013 against Phoenix.

“He wasn’t feeling too well. I don’t know what it is,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I don’t know if it’s a cold. I don’t know to be honest with you. But I know he’s not feeling well.”

That hardly sounded like good news for a player who only played six games last season because of injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. But as soon as the question was asked, Scott soon clarified that it’s “nothing physically. Just not feeling well. Physically, as far as a knee, elbow or Achilles? No, nothing like that.”

Instead, Bryant was nursing what the Lakers said is a probable viral infection.

“He’s in the training room right now, and he doesn’t look good,” Lakers guard Jeremy Lin said. “I just got out of there, and he doesn’t look good at all.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott, Mitch Kupchak question Ronnie Price’s 1-game suspension

The Lakers have plenty of reasons to feel upset. They enter tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs (4-3) with a 1-7 record, worst in the Western Conference. The Lakers are ranked last overall in total defense.

But the Lakers are also upset over the NBA punishing reserve guard Ronnie Price with a one-game suspension that keeps him out of tonight’s game against the Spurs. The league made the ruling after Price was ejected for a flagrant foul-2 in the Lakers’ loss Wednesday in New Orleans where he pulled down Austin Rivers from behind. But replays showed that Price attempted to stop the ball.

“We feel that the contact came from an attempt to block the shot and that there was no intent to hit Austin Rivers in the head,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Therefore, we are disappointed in the league’s decision.”

Lakers coach Byron Scott echoed those concerns, saying that during the Lakers’ showtime era such a play only would have resulted in a foul.

“I don’t think there was any malice in it whatsoever,” Scott said. “He’s a tough kid. I really felt he was going for the ball as best as he could.”

Price has become involved in other defensive controversies this season. During training camp, Price also picked up a technical foul for throwing his shoe at Golden State’s Andre Iguodala to stop a fast break. But Scott pointed out that Price has never earned a reputation for picking up flagrant fouls. The nine-year veteran has often been considered a positive locker room presence both because of his work ethic and attitude.

While Lakers Jeremy Lin will continue starting, second round draft pick Jordan Clarkson will have added responsibility. He has averaged only 3.7 points on 36.4 percent shooting in 9.9 minutes of play.

RELATED:

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Lakers’ Ronnie Price suspended for Spurs game for flagrant foul 2

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Ryan Kelly to return vs. Spurs

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly will play in tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center after sitting out the past three games because of tightness in his right hamstring.

“He’s good to go,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott, though he reported not having a conversation yet with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti about any minute restrictions.

The Lakers have taken a conservative approach with Kelly in the past week, progressing him through games of one-on-one and two-on-two at a gradual pace to ensure he experiences no setbacks.

Kelly had initially sat out of all of training camp and the first four games of the regular season because overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstring. Kelly scored two points in seven minutes in the Lakers’ loss on Nov. 4 to Phoenix before feeling his right hamstring tighten.

Kelly averaged eight points last season as a second-round draft pick with the Lakers.

RELATED:

San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich celebrating Kobe Bryant’s return


Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, on different paths to greatness, share same competitive fire


Lakers’ Ronnie Price suspended for Spurs game for flagrant foul 2

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Ronnie Price suspended for Spurs game for flagrant foul 2

Reserve guard Ronnie Price will serve a one-game suspension when the Lakers play San Antonio on Friday at Staples Center after officials gave him a flagrant foul 2 in the Lakers’ loss on Wednesday in New Orleans.

Price was given an automatic ejection with 9:11 left in the fourth quarter after pulling down Austin Rivers from behind. But replays showed that Price attempted to stop the ball.

“I don’t know what a flagrant 1 or 2 is anyway,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said afterwards. “I thought he made an attempt to go for the basketball. [The officials] say he swiped at it. Well, when you normally try to block a shot, you swipe at it.”

Price has become involved in other defensive controversies this season. During training camp, Price also picked up a technical foul for throwing his shoe at Golden State’s Andre Iguodala to stop a fast break.

Jeremy Lin will still start, but the Lakers’ backcourt has shrunk in other areas. Steve Nash is ruled out for the entire season because of nerve complications in his back. Wayne Ellington was given an indefinite leave of absence because after his father was shot and killed on Sunday in Philadelphia. It’s likely that second-round draft pick Jordan Clarkson will have increased responsibility. He has averaged only 3.7 points on 36.4 percent shooting in 9.9 minutes of play.


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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