Lakers head coach Frank Vogel provided updates on the numerous members of his backcourt currently sidelined with injuries following practice on Monday.
The most encouraging update was Talen Horton-Tucker’s return to the court. The third-year guard was seen on the floor after practice without a brace on his surgically repaired left thumb, and Vogel said he’s making progress towards a return.
“Yeah he got his stitches out,” Vogel said. “(We) hope to have him start doing shooting tomorrow, but he’s still on track with the timetable.”
Horton-Tucker underwent surgery on Oct. 13 and was going to be re-evaluated in four weeks. Simply by looking at the calendar, that would fall around Wednesday, Nov. 10 which means Horton-Tucker is certainly nearing a return.
As for Kendrick Nunn, the update wasn’t quite as optimistic, as he still also remains on his same timetable as well. His bone bruise diagnosis came only on Oct. 21 and had a two to three-week window before being re-evaluated. That could be as early as this upcoming Thursday, though it seems more likely to be closer to three weeks than two as he has not yet returned to the court.
Wayne Ellington appears to be the closest to return to in-game action. Many Lakers fans may have been surprised when the Lakers tweeted out that he would be practicing with the South Bay Lakers of the G League on Monday, but Vogel explained the rationale behind that.
“Wayne is going to practice with the G League today,” Vogel said. “We have to assign him by the rules or whatever, but it’s just to go down to practice here, just to get some live work. Our practice was just light script and film. So for him to get some live work, he’s going to work with the G League today.”
Over much of the last week, Ellington had dressed for games but was unavailable barring emergency as he attempts to work his way back into game shape. The Lakers had wanted him to practice before playing, and assigning him to the G League for the day accomplished that task.
That could lead to him being active and available for Tuesday’s game against the Rockets, which would be his first regular season action of the year with the Lakers. After a bad string of injury luck during the preseason, though, it sounds like the Lakers are starting to have things (finally) turn around in their favor.