Kendrick Nunn has missed the entire Lakers season so far with a persistent bone bruise in his right knee, and according to head coach Frank Vogel, he is going to miss at least a bit more time than previously expected.
During his pregame media session on Monday before the Lakers faced the Utah Jazz, Vogel said that Nunn had been progressing in his rehab, but had been ramped back down after having an issue with the increased workload.
“Kendrick actually suffered a setback,” Vogel said, before catching himself and rephrasing. “Well, not necessarily a setback, but the ramped-up activity, his knee didn’t respond well to it.”
As a result, Vogel said that the team still has “no firm timeline” on when Nunn will be back in the lineup.
“Bone bruises are tricky and his timeline is delayed,” Vogel said. “He’s pulled back from his workload until it calms down.”
#Lakers Kendrick Nunn update:— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) January 18, 2022
- Unfortunate but not every ramp up goes smoothly, esp after missing multiple months of play and has a sensitive injury
- Key on this is the extent of the “setback”. Pain? Swelling? Much more than anticipated or not?
- Video tomorrow for @LakersSBN https://t.co/7CiZ8QtktS
Vogel has previously said he expects Nunn to play a big role for the Lakers when he gets back on the floor. And as recently as a week ago, there were mounting signs that Nunn was getting closer to a return, and even whispers that the team was targeting a return for him during their upcoming Grammy road trip.
It would seem now that such a scenario is likely off the table, and it remains to be seen how long this setback will keep Nunn sidelined for, or if (or when) the team will provide a further update on his timeline before returning to the court.
Complicating things further, the NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching on Feb. 10. In addition to Nunn being one of just five Lakers on non-minimum contracts — and thus being a mainstay in their theoretical trade packages — this setback also raises the possibility that the Lakers could be forced to make major decisions on their roster without ever getting to see their fifth-highest-paid player hit the floor.
That is far from the biggest adversity they’ve dealt with this season, but we can go ahead and add it to the list.
This developing story may be updated with more information. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.