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Explaining Trevor Ariza’s right ankle ‘arthroscopic debridement’ and return timeline

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT explains the ankle surgery Lakers veteran Trevor Ariza underwent, and why it was a smart, proactive decision.

2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Photo by Atiba Jefferson/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers wing Trevor Ariza had been battling some right ankle soreness for at least the past few weeks (and likely has been dealing with some ankle irritation for even longer) and was accordingly held out of the team’s first two preseason games, as well as every training camp practice other than their first one, when he aggravated the injury.

Last night — during the middle of the Los Angeles Dodgers eventual wild card victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, mind you — the team released an update that Los Angeles native underwent a procedure on his ankle called “arthroscopic debridement.”

Immediately, I already saw the “Lakers are old” memes running through my head. But while this won’t stop people from making jokes or criticizing the team’s roster, the procedure and return timeline makes sense on multiple levels.

I explained why in the following video:

Although this is obviously not ideal for a team looking to integrate many new pieces into its rotation and get continuity around its three-headed superstar core, the Lakers do have significant depth, which allows some leeway here, and will perhaps allow lesser-used players to find their own rhythm and comfort zone as they fill in for Ariza’s minutes over the next eight weeks until he’s reevaluated.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. 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 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.