The Los Angeles Lakers have been without Brandon Ingram for two games, coming at an incredibly inopportune time. Ingram nursing injuries to both of his quadriceps muscles has left the Lakers without three starters for two games, and it’s left the second-year forward itching to get back out on the court.
“I can’t sit anymore,” Ingram anxiously responded to media when asked if he needs more time away from the game to continue recovering. “It can get better, I just go with whatever the trainers tell me to do, whatever recovery, whatever treatment I need to do, and I’ll be back out there.”
It’s been a learning experience for Ingram, who noted during his post-practice media session that he’d never suffered a major injury in his life — something he immediately noted he didn’t want to jinx.
Sitting and recovering is something he isn’t used to, but the time away has left him focused on a New Year’s resolution of getting back into the kind of rhythm he had to his game in November.
“With some fresh legs... thinking November was a really really really good month for me, and I just want to try to get back to that speed of the game, and just be more effective for my teammates so we can win,” Ingram said.
There’s not a large canyon between how Ingram played in November or December, but clearly he feels fatigue in his legs was weighing him down to close out the year. The Lakers’ pace while Ingram’s been on the court in December is 102.62, compared to November’s 105.17 pace. It’s a small nugget that points to some truth behind Brandon’s observation, though that’s not entirely on Ingram’s legs either.
The Lakers certainly could use Ingram to slide back into the starting lineup while both Lonzo Ball and Brook Lopez miss time. Ingram’s year-over-year improvements have been clear 30 games into his second year with the Lakers, and he should have ample opportunity to continue asserting himself as a go-to player for LA.
Missing two games — should he return Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies — is a small price to pay to learn just how important the recovery process is.
“I think I’ll pay more attention to it as I keep playing these games. Do better recovering a little bit after games, especially on these games where we play every-other day,” Ingram said.
Ingram was feeling good after practicing with the Lakers on Tuesday, and certainly sounded hopeful about making his return to the court as soon as possible. Expect an update from the Lakers following shootaround.