Los Angeles Lakers wing — and newly minted Puma spokesman — Kyle Kuzma had been dealing with “ankle soreness” since the tail of end of training camp with USA basketball in preparation for the World Championships. This soreness forced Kuzma to bow out of the team and focus on his preparation for the season.
This past week, the team announced that Kyle is in fact dealing with a left foot “stress reaction” injury that will limit his participation in training camp until at least Oct. 13, when the team returns from China, and also when he will undergo another MRI.
In the following video, I detailed what exactly a bone stress reaction injury is from a medical perspective, the most likely reason why Kuzma has one, how he’ll continue to rehab and recover from the injury and his potential return to play (RTP) timeline:
So there you have it. From all accounts and objective indicators, it seems that Kuzma’s left foot stress reaction was caught early on, and is now being managed appropriately with a methodical rehab progression. It’s never ideal to miss training camp time — especially with a newly assembled team — but the injury seems to be relatively mild, a sentiment echoed both by Kuzma and GM Rob Pelinka, and should have no effect on Kuz’s performance during the season.
I know we’re all sick of injuries — particularly after last season — but this isn’t anything to panic about. In fact, it could offer a key lesson and silver lining to Kuzma moving forward for the rest of his career, one that underlies LeBron James’ incredible longevity: You have to be very careful and intentional with how quickly you ramp up activity quantity and intensity, lest you open yourself up to overuse injuries.
Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll.