The injury report for the Los Angeles Lakers is officially getting insane. Not only are Anthony Davis (right calf strain), Jared Dudley (right MCL tear) and LeBron James (right ankle sprain) continuing to miss time, but now newcomer Andre Drummond has been added to the list for the team’s second night of a back-to-back against the Charlotte Hornets. Making matters worse, his theoretical replacement — Marc Gasol — is also now dealing with a persistent hamstring issue.
Both Drummond (left elbow impingement) and Gasol (left hamstring soreness) are being listed as questionable to play against the Hornets on Tuesday night, while Alfonzo McKinnie (health and safety protocols) is also questionable despite previously having been cleared to travel with the team to Charlotte.
In addition to Drummond’s new injury and Gasol’s now-recurring one, Kyle Kuzma (left calf strain), Wesley Matthews (right Achilles tendon tightness) and Dennis Schröder (pelvis contusion) are all being listed as probable. Schröder was listed as probable with the same injury before playing against the Knicks on Monday, while Kuzma was questionable but played and started. Matthews has been listed intermittently with Achilles issues all season.
The most notable injury here is Drummond, however, because it’s a new one. The Lakers’ starting center and biggest (both figuratively and literally) buyout signing only has 18 games left to get adjusted to his new teammates and situation before the postseason, so while the medical staff will obviously need to prioritize being careful with him, they are also up against some other factors here. Hopefully this is not a serious enough injury to where it will limit Drummond in the postseason, but still, coupled with his toe injury, this has not been a fun start to his time in Los Angeles.
Even if the Lakers’ miss all nine of these players against the Hornets, however, they should be able to avoid a forfeit. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker, Ben McLemore, Alex Caruso, Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris and two-way players Devontae Cacok and Kostas Antetokounmpo, they would be able to get to just barely get to the minimum of eight players to avoid a forfeit. We’ll see who takes the floor as this condensed grind slogs along tonight at 5 p.m. PT.