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Why is Kendrick Nunn’s ‘bone bruise’ taking so long to return from?

Frank Vogel recently dropped a key hint on why Kendrick Nunn has had such an extended absence with the bone bruise he suffered in the preseason.

NBA: NOV 14 Spurs at Lakers Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Lakers acquired the services of Kendrick Nunn this offseason with the hopes that he would add the dynamic three-level scoring element and a hard-nosed toughness developed from his time with the Miami Heat while making defensive strides under Lakers head coach Frank Vogel (as we’ve seen recently from two other defensively challenged but talented scoring threats in Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington).

However, those hopes haven’t been given an opportunity to come to fruition, as Nunn first missed the tail end of preseason with an ankle sprain injury and then was diagnosed with a “bone bruise” of the knee — an injury I detailed at the time — with a two-to-three-week reevaluation period.

The one theme we’ve consistently heard from the team and Vogel since that reevaluation point is that Nunn is “still a ways away” from returning, and recently Vogel commented that Nunn wouldn’t make his return in 2021.

So what is exactly is going on? How did this go from a two-plus week reevaluation to a two-plus month recovery and return-to-play timeline? I explained in the following video, including a key detail Vogel gave two weeks ago:

Although there is still no timeline on Nunn’s return, a positive indicator is that we are seeing him more on the sidelines with the team and he’s consistently photographed at practices recently (although not doing much).

The key thing that will inform us of a potential timeline is when we begin seeing Nunn participate in stationary shooting drills, and how he progresses from there. As always, I’ll keep you updated as we learn more information.

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.

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