For the last two games, Andre Drummond has been listed as questionable with a right big toe contusion on the Lakers’ injury report. While it’s likely that he’ll be listed as questionable on the injury report for their game against the Miami Heat on Thursday, Drummond has already announced that he’ll be available through an Instagram post on Wednesday.
There were signs that Drummond was going to return on Thursday leading up to his Instagram post. After the Lakers’ practice on Tuesday, Frank Vogel said that Drummond’s injury had improved and that he was “hopeful” that the two-time All-Star would play on Friday. So, barring any last-minute setbacks, it sounds like Drummond will be good to go.
If Drummond does play on Thursday, it will only be his second game with the Lakers. Drummond signed his contract with Los Angeles on March 28 and suffered his big toe contusion in his debut for the team on March 31.
When Drummond returns, he’ll start at center for the Lakers in spite of how good Marc Gasol has looked in the last three games. Frank Vogel explained why after the Lakers’ win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, in which Gasol has tallied 13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks.
“We’re gonna start Andre,” Vogel said. “That’s what we signed him here for. I mean, first of all, we need to get him a ton of minutes to get him acllimated in our system, with only X amount of games before the playoffs, and he’ll be our starter. But like I said, and we’ve said this the whole time through: we need all three of those guys, and all three of them are really good players, and they’re going to help us win a championship. But no, (Gasol’s play) doesn’t change that (the starting lineup).”
Hopefully, Drummond can justify Vogel’s unwavering confidence in him when starts getting meaningful minutes, starting with Thursday’s game. The Lakers and Heat will tip-off at 4:30 PT, and the game will be broadcast on TNT.