Update: The Lakers announce that Mozgov “will miss Russia's next two games at its international tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, and be re-evaluated sometime mid-next week.” Original story follows.
Newly signed Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov has “injured his groin muscle in the second quarter of the friendly match with Ukraine,” according to a translated report from Russian news outlet Match TV.
Mozgov, who already had issues recovering from a knee surgery last summer, agreed to and subsequently signed a four-year deal worth a reported $64 million guaranteed with the Lakers this offseason.
This injury is a kick in the, well, groin for the Lakers, who were surely hoping a summer to recover would allow Mozgov to regain the form he displayed for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2014-15 season. Cleveland acquired Mozgov in a midseason deal, and his rim protection and boulder-solid screens was a major factor in propelling the Cavaliers to the Finals that year.
His play last season was essentially the opposite, as Mozgov often looked sluggish and was mostly unable to get on the court for the Cavs in the postseason.
This groin injury could be (and most likely is) totally unrelated to the knee injury he suffered and had difficulty recovering from, but the Lakers have to hope it isn’t a precursor to signs of a permanent, injury-riddled decline for the seven-footer.
However, it isn’t time to panic just yet. The severity of the injury being unknown could very well mean the team is just being cautious with Mozgov. More on this story as it develops.
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