The Los Angeles Lakers announced that Larry Nance, Jr. suffered a bone bruise on his left knee on Tuesday night during their loss to the Charlotte Hornets. X-rays immediately following the game came back negative, but an MRI Wednesday revealed the bruise, and the team is declaring Nance out indefinitely.
The Lakers said that “further results were inconclusive due to swelling in the knee” and that Nance would be reevaluated on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Nance, Jr. suffered the injury during the third quarter while battling for control of a loose ball he poked away from Charlotte. He immediately felt something wrong in his knee, asking to be taken out of the game.
Head coach Luke Walton didn’t shy away from discussing how much of a loss missing Nance, Jr. would be for the team following the loss in Charlotte, calling it a “big loss” no matter how long he needs to sit out. Larry’s been a huge boost off the bench all season, providing the Lakers with a big man off the bench that often serves a shot of adrenaline once the starters get a breather.
The numbers back this, as the Lakers perform 9.9 points per 100 possession overall better while Nance, Jr. is on the floor. Having a duo of Julius Randle and Nance, Jr. allows the Lakers a chance to always have an impactful power forward playing, albeit two who make their presence felt in different ways.
Just as the Lakers were looking like they dug out of the injury-riddled hole they found themselves in they get dragged right back in.