The Los Angeles Lakers are shutting down rookie power forward Larry Nance, Jr. until after the All-Star break because of a sore right knee, the team announced. Nance, Jr. missed four games in January after tweaking his knee and will now have over two weeks to get back to 100 percent before returning to the floor.
Julius Randle will likely continue seeing time with the starting lineup.
Nance, Jr. is averaging 5.8 points and five rebounds per game through his rookie season, with those numbers increasing slightly in his 22 games as a starter. Larry has been a bright spot for the Lakers, surpassing the expectations attached to being a surprise pick with the 27th overall selection of the 2015 NBA Draft. His athleticism has been one of the few exciting things about watching the Lakers.
This is a blow to the Lakers, though, who need as much talent as possible on the floor to compete on a nightly basis. Nance, Jr. has provided solid production through his rookie season and even drew praise from Bill Simmons as being the best non-lottery rookie this season. Larry will miss the final five games leading into the All-Star break, with the Lakers first game once basketball is back in session on Feb. 19 at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
Here's some Leaping Larry to hold you down until then: