Versatile Lakers guard Josh Hart has been dealing with ongoing knee problems that the team officially termed “knee tendinitis.” According to both Hart and Lakers head coach Luke Walton, this ongoing, nagging problem may be the root cause for Hart’s downtrend in play, namely his 3-point shooting, which cratered in the month of January at 22.7%.
However, with the nine-day All-Star break now mercifully upon us, that extended layoff and downtime might be just what the doctor ordered for Hart and that troublesome knee tendon.
In the following video, I detailed what “knee tendinitis” is, why it could be affecting Hart’s jumper, why the extended break of rest and treatment — combined with a PRP injection — and the addition of Reggie Bullock could kickstart Hart back into early season form:
In summation: Hart’s likely patellar knee tendinopathy has been building for awhile, and was likely caused by overuse due to not resting over the summer, as Hart himself has conceded.
The tendon is critical during the loading and landing phases of jumping, so the injury becoming more troublesome could explain Hart’s recent jump shot woes, a theory posited by both Walton and Hart. I also strongly believe that is the case.
Further, the extended break gives Hart time to rest, receive treatment and potentially allow the PRP injection to restart his body’s healing process and expedite his timetable for recovery. Moving forward, the team will have to be cognizant of Hart’s minutes, and the addition of Bullock as another reliable “3-and-D” player could serve very well in distributing the workload.
Hart will be re-evaluated after the break, and not only do the Lakers desperately need him back in full form as they try to make one final push for the playoffs, but everyone could use the levity that comes along with his patented missed high-fives as well.
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.