Dennis Schröder will not be available when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday due to health and safety protocols, the team announced just an hour before tip-off. It was so sudden that during Frank Vogel’s pregame media availability, he said that he was looking forward to seeing Schröder and Nets guard Kyrie Irving go head-to-head.
Dennis Schroder is out for tonight’s game vs. Brooklyn due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 19, 2021
This is clearly late-breaking news for the team as well.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) February 19, 2021
Frank Vogel, minutes ago: "Looking forward to seeing the Dennis Schroder-Kyrie Irving match-up. I think that's one that Dennis gives us a different dynamic this year, and I'm looking forward to seeing that match-up." https://t.co/N73H1gL0cU
Schröder is the second Lakers played to miss a game due to health and safety protocols this season. Alex Caruso missed four games due to contact tracing at the beginning of the season. The Lakers’ head athletic trainer Nina Hsieh also missed a game due to the league’s health and safety protocols, however, she was back on the bench the very next game, leading one to believe she didn’t test positive for the coronavirus.
In other words, a mention of “health and safety protocols” doesn’t automatically mean someone on the team has tested positive for the coronavirus — in fact, in the Lakers’ case, it’s never meant that this season. The Lakers haven’t had a positive coronavirus test since March, when players were first tested before the Orlando bubble. They also haven’t had a game postponed due to health and safety protocols.
Wesley Matthews will start in Schröder’s place on Thursday. Schröder has started every game he’s been available for this season. In those games, he’s averaged 14.2 points and 4.3 assists per game.
There hasn’t been update on Schröder’s availability moving forward, although that’s to be expected. We likely won’t know much more about Schröder’s situation until after the game.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.