The Lakers announced on Wednesday night that Trevor Ariza had undergone an “arthroscopic debridement procedure” on his right ankle earlier in the day and will be re-evaluated by team doctors in eight weeks.
From Lakers press release: "Trevor Ariza had an arthroscopic debridement procedure performed on his right ankle today. He is expected to make a full and complete recovery. Team doctors will reevaluate Ariza in approximately 8 weeks, and an update will be provided at that time."— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 7, 2021
Ariza had been sidelined for most of training camp, dating back to last Thursday’s practice after being a full participant in the opening practice of the season on Wednesday. At the time, head coach Frank Vogel and the Lakers considered the injury to be minor and described it as right ankle soreness.
The veteran forward joined the Lakers this season after playing 30 games with the Heat last season. Ariza was dealt to the Heat in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he had been dealt prior to the season but never reported to the franchise as the two sides looked for a solution that would allow the swingman to play for a contender. After reporting to the Heat, he did not miss a game during the season, save for the regular-season finale.
Without Ariza, the Lakers’ depth will be tested. While the team has a gluttony of guards on the roster, there are far fewer forwards and, specifically, perimeter defenders on the roster. Ariza was expected to be one of those primary options in both regards. In fact, a report before the start of training camp indicated Ariza was one of the favorites to land a starting lineup spot, should Anthony Davis start at center.
While the team’s plans were to keep a roster spot open heading into the season to potentially chase a buyout option, Ariza’s injury could force the Lakers to change course. Former Laker Wes Matthews — who expressed an interest to return to the Lakers during his exit interviews this spring — remains a free agent as does James Ennis, who reportedly worked out for the Lakers in late September.