The Lakers haven’t even made it to the regular season and are already dealing with fairly significant injuries to multiple expected members of the rotation. After the news that Trevor Ariza underwent surgery and will miss at least the next two months dropped earlier this week, the team also made a late update to their injury report for Sunday’s matchup with the Phoenix Suns: Talen Horton-Tucker (right thumb sprain) and Malik Monk (right groin strain) are both out for at least the next preseason game.
The Lakers did not provide any timeline for either of the latter two players, but especially in the case of Monk, this is certainly not good news. We all saw how limiting groin strains can be when Anthony Davis tried to play through one in the playoffs and was barely able to move. Even if Monk’s injury ultimately turns out to be less serious, the team exercising caution and sitting him immediately is obviously the prudent choice here, even if that isn’t going to make anyone feel any better about it.
Monk had been a standout for the Lakers so far in the preseason, even earning starting lineup consideration from head coach Frank Vogel, who started Monk against the Warriors to evaluate how he looked with that unit. While, again, it’s unknown how much time he’ll end up ultimately missing, this certainly appears set to hurt his chances of being ready for the season opener on Oct. 19.
With Monk and Horton-Tucker both sidelined so close to the start of the season, expect Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore and Kendrick Nunn to get the bulk of the minutes at shooting guard for as long as the other two are sidelined, and nearly all of the consideration for the 2-spot in the starting lineup. For the game against the Suns specifically, this may lead to at least a little more run for undrafted rookies Austin Reaves and Chaundee Brown.
This developing story may be updated with more information. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.