The Los Angeles Lakers were hit in the face in Sunday night’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, but the effects were not known until Monday morning when physicians evaluated the team.
Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Hill received bad news on Monday morning, but Howard’s news hurt the most.
Howard underwent an MRI on his right shoulder and was diagnosed with a torn labrum, a shoulder injury. He is out at least one week, but officially, he is out indefinitely. The Lakers will reevaluate Howard in a week, and that process will repeat until the Lakers' center is ready to return.
After the loss to the Denver Nuggets, Howard was asked what he sacrificed for the Lakers. He responded, “I’m sacrificing my body.” Well, it is hard to argue with the big man now.
Normally, Gasol would take Howard’s place at center, but Gasol was hit in the face with by a wayward JaVale McGee elbow late in Sunday’s loss. Gasol’s nose split open, and the Spaniard was diagnosed with a concussion. He will not travel with the team to Texas this week.
Hill also suffered a hip injury in Sunday’s loss, and the results of his examination will be revealed later on Monday.
None of the three injured players are expected to take part in Tuesday’s game at Houston. Robert Sacre has been recalled from the D-League and expects to start on Tuesday. With Hill also out, Antawn Jamison should see some extended minutes at the power forward position. Earl Clark may also see some time.
Prior to Monday, Coach Mike D’Antoni did not have the right pieces to play his system and lacked youth. After Monday, D’Antoni doesn’t have the pieces to play any system, but he can now play small ball and has plenty of youth coming into the lineup.