It was early Friday night against the Indiana Pacers when a weird play forced D’Angelo Russell from the game. Julius Randle set a screen, then inadvertently tripped Russell. This caused Russell’s legs to come out from under him, and he awkwardly landed on his right knee while his left leg slipped out.
Lakers said D'Angelo Russell has a mild MCL sprain in his right knee. He will be reevaluated at halftime, questionable to return
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 21, 2017
It was later determined that he had more than just a mild MCL strain.
While Young is back for the 2nd half, Russell won’t return, and has a strained R calf in addition to the sprained MCL. MRI coming tomorrow.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 21, 2017
With the combination of the knee and calf injuries, Russell was held out for the second half of the eventual 108-96 victory against the Pacers. The results of the MRI were released by the team Saturday night.
Russell's MRI confirmed a mild MCL sprain in his R knee & a calf strain, and also showed a bone bruise. Out 1-2 weeks, re-evaluated in 1 wk.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 22, 2017
Connecting dots, Russell definitely out Sunday @ Dallas, Wednesday @ Portland, Thursday @ Utah. Reevaluated well before 1/31 vs. Denver
— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 22, 2017
This is a tough blow (despite the anti-Russell crowd) as the Lakers offense has been better with him running it, although in recent games, he has struggled a bit to find a rhythm. Still, the team relies on him to start the offense.
What this means
Fortunately, he won’t be out for long. I’m sure his mindset is to aim for the one week mark, though Luke Walton will be the deciding factor of that in the end. With Luke’s emphasis on keeping the bench intact, we will more than likely see Jose Calderon starting. Lou Williams will likely see more minutes, though recently he has seen his playing time increased based solely on his stellar play. Fortunately for all of us, and especially for Russell, it was a mild sprain and not a tear, which would have been season ending.
With Larry Nance Jr set to come back from a month long knee injury, and Luol Deng still out with a sprained wrist, the injury bug continues to plague the Lakers. Nick Young looked to be on the brink of a bad injury last night as well, but he was able to come back and hit some huge three pointers down the stretch. Hopefully with this little break, Russell can get his mind right and get back on track to the player he was at the beginning of January.
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