Alex Caruso has missed the last two Lakers games and did not travel with the team on their current road trip after being ruled out under the league’s health and safety protocols. Head coach Frank Vogel wasn’t able to provide a whole lot more clarity ahead of Caruso’s third missed game in a row against the San Antonio Spurs, other than to say he will miss a fourth game when Los Angeles heads to Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Sunday.
“I’m not sure the exact date that he’s going to be able to rejoin us. He will not be available tonight (against the Spurs) obviously and the first game in Memphis, I know that for sure,” Vogel said.
The health and safety protocols are an intentionally vague-sounding set of rules and guidelines agreed to by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association, outlining precautions to take and quarantines to enforce as the league resumes play amidst the still-raging coronavirus pandemic. A player being out under this designation can mean that they tested positive for the virus, but as we covered yesterday, that seems unlikely in Caruso’s case, because a) no other Lakers players or staffers have been forced to quarantine and b) the league announced on Wednesday that no players have tested positive for the virus since Dec. 24.
Unless Caruso tested positive in the last day or so — or the league is lying — that would strongly imply that a positive test is not what is keeping him out. As to what is, we won’t speculate, but just again say that wherever he is and whatever is keeping him out, hopefully Caruso and his family are healthy and safe.
The Lakers’ next game after their Sunday matchup with Memphis is another game against the Grizzlies on Tuesday before they return home to host the Spurs for the final time this season the following Thursday. Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for updates on Caruso’s status for those games and beyond as we get them.