Just as the Los Angeles Lakers were building momentum, the roster once again has taken a heavy blow. Lakers rookie guard Josh Hart has been diagnosed with a fracture in the fourth metacarpal of his left hand, according to Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell.
The Lakers have not announced a timetable on the injury, but Hart has undergone X-rays to confirm the injury. The training stuff is currently weighing its options going forward, which could include surgery to correct the injury.
This likely means the end of Hart’s rookie season, especially if surgery is the route taken. Hart has been a bright spot through the latter half of the season, stepping up in the rotation as one of the key contributors replacing minutes that belonged to Lonzo Ball during his injury absences.
Hart averaged 6.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.5 minutes per game through 55 outings. Those averages bumped up to 12.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 32.1 minutes per game through the last 10 games, all of which he was a part of the starting lineup. He was also shooting 48.9 percent from beyond the arc on 4.5 attempts per game during that 10-game stretch.
It’s a disappointing loss for the Lakers. Hart was in full bloom-mode, finding his role on offense while providing impressive defense. Seeing him play out the final 22 games would have been nice, and he could still return with no definitive path forward set yet. That seems like a stretch with so little time left, but we’ll have to wait and see.