Lakers Considering Shutting Down Larry Nance Jr.

LA Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr.'s sore knee may keep the forward out for an extended period of time

"I think anytime you're dealing with a knee, you have to have some concern," Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said prior to Tuesday's game.

Rookie Larry Nance had experienced soreness in his knee, and the 23-year-old suddenly looked like he may be out for an extended period of time, even if the step is taken as a precaution. However, judging by Nance's limp prior to Tuesday's game, the former Wyoming Cowboy may simply require the rest.

"My thought process is to, ah, you know we have five games before All-Star weekend, shut him down now and he has another week after All-Star week to get it together," Scott said about how he thought about treating Nance's injury. "So, I'll go in and talk to [Athletic trainer]Gary (Vitti). It's something I discussed with him days ago, about shutting (Nance) down. And I'll go in there and discuss a little bit further and see what he thinks as well."

"[Nance has] had a re-occurrence," Scott continued to explain why he had genuine concerns. "He played a couple of games, had really one day of practice and said it felt a lot like it did in Golden State. So, it was back to where it was. Again, that was after about four, five days [off], so I think keep him off it for a couple weeks and really try to strengthen it, and hopefully, we can really take care of the problem for the rest of the year."

Following 23 minutes against Golden State, Nance played three minutes before leaving the court in Utah. Subsequently, Nance would miss his next four games due to the sore knee. Three games later, the 19-year-old appears to be back in a spot where his knee is in jeopardy. Following his return, Nance told reporters that he had suffered muscle atrophy following knee surgery, but a rush to the court in order to get drafted, a fast summer and the rigors of the NBA season had not allowed him proper time to strengthen his knee.

As such, Nance appears likely to miss the upcoming five games before All-Star break--maybe longer.

"We know that this kid's got a bright, bright future," Scott said about Nance. "So, the one thing we want to do right now is take our time and get him as healthy as possible. If it means him sitting out longer than All-Star break, I'm good with that as well. You know, I want to get him healthy. I'd like to see him play in Summer League, but if not, if he needs the chance or the time to get even healthier there to continue to do the rehab, then so be it."

The Lakers taking a cautious approach with their value selection in the NBA draft is understandable and commendable.

"[Nance] told us a while back that if his leg was strong, we hadn't seen nothin.'" Scott continued talking about the hobbled rookie. "So I'm curious as hell to see how it is when his leg is strong."

"(Nance) did some stuff in preseason and in regular season. He had some dunks that kind of made you jump out your seat, so I would love to see him fully healthy." Scott concluded "I just want to see it. I just want to see him healthy, just to see what capabilities he does have."

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