The Los Angeles Lakers cannot catch a day off without hearing bad news.
On Thursday, the Lakers announced that Nick Young’s MRI exam revealed that he had a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise. In layman’s terms, Young cracked his kneecap and got a bone bruise to go along with it.
Carefully worded, the Lakers stated that Young “will be out a minimum of two weeks and will be re-evaluated at that time.” To translate, a return in two weeks’ time would be unexpected and improbable, if not altogether impossible. He’ll get checked out in two weeks, and likely, he’ll miss another month or so after that. Obviously, instances like Metta World Peace and his meniscus surgery can occur, but considering the season and the injury, Young is probably out until March.
In a not-entirely-unrelated bit of news, the Lakers announced the re-signing of Shawne Williams to a 10-day contract. Williams recently joined the LA D-Fenders after the Lakers waived the forward in January. Williams’ shot was never consistent enough to warrant a permanent spot on the roster, but he was a hard worker and provided the Lakers with some toughness on the boards.
Often used as an undersized power forward, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni should use Williams as a substitute behind rookie Ryan Kelly. Young’s injury did not directly give Williams a roster spot, but the Lakers are especially low on healthy bodies, so Williams should help avoid future awkward scenarios like Cleveland.
Against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers only had six healthy bodies available to play at the end of the game. With two of those healthy Lakers fouling out, the Lakers employed a rare rule allowing center Robert Sacre to remain in the game past his sixth foul.
Ultimately, Williams’ return to the team was expected, but it seemed rushed by the unfortunate news of Young’s injury. Prior to the injury, Young appeared in 48 games for the Lakers this season and averaged 16.9 points per game, primarily off the bench.
With Young sidelined, the Lakers’ body count increases to five: Jodie Meeks is sidelined for the remainder of the road trip due to an ankle injury; Xavier Henry is out for an unknown amount of time with bone bruise in his knee; Kobe Bryant is out for at least two more weeks with a fracture in his knee; and Pau Gasol is expected to miss another two weeks with a groin injury.