Talen Horton-Tucker will be reevaluated in approximately four weeks after undergoing surgery on Tuesday to repair a the ulnar collateral ligament on right thumb, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Of course, this means the Lakers will be without Horton-Tucker for their preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 19, and for at least the following 12 games. Fortunately for the Lakers, they’re expected to have a light start to the season even with the number of injuries they’ve suffered in the preseason.
Through Nov. 14, which is the earliest Horton-Tucker could return with a four-week reevaluation, the Lakers will play just four teams that made the playoffs last year: the Phoenix Suns, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Miami Heat. They’ll also play two games each against the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, both of whom are expected to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference this season.
That being said, Horton-Tucker’s absence will definitely be felt, particularly on the defensive end, where the Lakers have little size behind LeBron James. That was true before Trevor Ariza and Horton-Tucker got hurt, but it’s especially true now.
Hopefully the Lakers are able to lean on their “big three” of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and can make up for their losses on the defensive end with offense-driven, three-guard lineups. If not, the concerns that have risen as a result of their poor showings in the preseason won’t go away anytime soon.