The Los Angeles Lakers might be without multiple starters on opening night. Julius Randle was officially listed as “inactive” in the Lakers official report to the NBA following practice on Monday, and still is not scrimmaging with the team as of Tuesday.
Randle left the Lakers’ preseason finale early with back spasm, then only participated in non-contact drills on Monday. Head coach Luke Walton also has to work around Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s two-game suspension to start the season, and Josh Hart is dealing with a minor Achilles injury.
Julius again practiced with the team on Tuesday but was held out of scrimmaging. Hopefully the fact that he was still on the court is a good sign, and the Lakers are now officially calling his injury an intercostal strain. For more information on that, you can check this article out which includes plenty of general insight on what that type of injury is.
Luol Deng may end up being the recipient of all those minutes, working with the starting lineup on Monday. Walton said he was undecided which way he was going with it, and there’s a variety of combinations he can mix up with the talent they have.
The Lakers open the season with a back-to-back, facing the LA Clippers on Oct. 19, then traveling to Phoenix to face the Suns on Oct. 20. Saturday is a night off, with action returning to STAPLES Center on Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
No official word yet, but it’s reasonable to think Randle could play in the opener. Seems to be progressing well. Was in good spirits today.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 17, 2017
Randle’s status could change in the days leading up to the season opener as well, but based on the on where things stand now, it might not be opening night for Julius come Thursday.