After undergoing a successful surgery to repair the fourth metacarpal of his left hand on Friday, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Josh Hart could miss the remainder of the season.
According to Spectrum SportNet Lakers Insider Mike Bresnahan, Hart is expected to need 4-6 weeks to recover from the surgery. As Bresnahan mentions in his tweet breaking the news, there is less than six weeks left in the season.
Prior to the actual procedure, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported that there is “zero rush” from head coach Luke Walton to get Hart back on the floor. However, in a tweet responding to the news, Ganguli said she wouldn’t be surprised to see him back, even if it’s just days before the end of the season.
4-6 weeks is the standard recovery time for a broken hand. Larry Nance Jr. was able to get back a little quicker. I wouldn't be surprised if his season is over, but if he's cleared with even a week left, they'll play him. https://t.co/yWyHzWMKHO— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 3, 2018
If this is the last we see of Hart this season, he will have ended his rookie season on a high note, all things considered.
Through 20 starts for the Lakers, Hart is averaging 11.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2 assists and 0.9 steals per game. He’s also drained 41.8 percent of his three-point attempts in that time, making him the most efficient three-point shooter of any player on the roster to start at least 20 games.
Not bad for the No. 30 pick in the draft.
If Hart doesn’t return this season, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him in Summer League next year. Despite his promising rookie campaign, Hart would benefit from getting the extra reps alongside the Lakers’ three other rookies, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Thomas Bryant, as well as some of the other less established prospects on the roster like Ivica Zubac and hopefully Alex Caruso.
Without Hart, the Lakers will have 14 active players for the remainder of the season, including both of their two-way players. Expect them to look for depth on the wing with their final roster spot.
All stats are courtesy of stats.nba.com unless otherwise noted.