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Dennis Schröder’s return could be about ‘a week to 10 days out’

Dennis Schröder is doing individual work — shooting and dribbling with his injured right hand — as he recovers from thumb surgery.

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Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

A surprise participant showed up after Lakers practice Tuesday: Dennis Schröder.

Schröder appeared in one preseason game after signing with the Lakers late in the offseason and sorting through visa issues before making his way to the States. He has missed the entire regular season to date after having surgery on his right thumb the day before opening night. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Nov. 6 and per Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register, Schröder remains on that timeline. Head coach Darvin Ham sounded slightly more optimistic after practice, saying that the Lakers point guard is “a week to 10 days out”.

Lakers media captured footage of Schröder doing some shooting and dribbling work with assistant coach Phil Handy. It’s good to know that Schröder hasn’t had any setbacks, especially after throwing an ice bath on Ham (and missing?) to celebrate his first win as an NBA head coach.

The Lakers looked to have a surfeit of guards on their roster to start the season. Schröder’s absence cleared up some of that logjam, and the uneven play of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn has also simplified some of the rotation decisions. However, Beverley and Nunn were supposed to be the additional playmakers on the roster, and their inability to perform to expectation has put an additional burden on LeBron James. Perhaps Schröder could fill a role as a secondary ball handler next to LeBron when he makes his return, something he should be familiar with from the 2020-21 season.

Schröder’s upcoming return does lead to some questions about Thomas Bryant’s availability, considering the big man had the same surgery as Schröder one day later. For now, there does not appear to be an update on Bryant, though the Lakers desperately need some more frontcourt depth.

On the subject of big man availability, Anthony Davis will once again be listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game against New Orleans. Davis was originally designated as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Nuggets, then eventually upgraded to available. His presence will once again be necessary against a stout Pelicans front line consisting of Jonas Valančiūnas, Zion Williamson, and old friend Larry Nance Jr.

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