The Lakers will be heavily undermanned on Monday as they take on the Phoenix Suns on the second night of a back-to-back. LeBron James and Austin Reaves will both be out with ankle injuries, while Anthony Davis and Juan Toscano-Anderson remain out.
LeBron James (left ankle soreness) and Austin Reaves (right ankle sprain) are both out tonight, along with Anthony Davis and JTA pic.twitter.com/cU4KyOCEUY— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) December 19, 2022
Joining them as a late scratch is Russell Westbrook, who is ruled out with left foot soreness. At the same time, Pat Bev was upgraded to available.
More Lakers injury updates tonight:— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 20, 2022
- Russell Westbrook is out due to left foot soreness.
- Patrick Beverley is available after missing last game with right calf soreness.
LeBron’s left ankle soreness has been a lingering injury that has led to him sitting out some of his seven games missed prior to Monday’s contest. This isn’t the first time LeBron has sat out the second night of a back-to-back as he most recently did not play in the team’s trip to Toronto during their previous road trip.
Reaves’ injury, though, is a new one. He suffered a sprained ankle on Sunday in the second half and took multiple trips to the locker room to have it retaped before finishing out the game. It is not surprising to see him listed on the injury report and out for Monday.
For Westbrook, this is just the second game he’s missed all season. Westbrook hasn’t featured on the team’s injury report hardly at all, either, this season. Either that means Monday is just a load management day or this could be a new injury to add to the team’s current woes on that front.
One notable exclusion from the report is Wenyen Gabriel, who had missed time due to a shoulder injury. His last game played came on Dec. 4 in Washington. Gabriel will be a very welcome addition back to the rotation — and potentially starting lineup — on Monday, particularly with the loss of AD.
If Beverley misses, the Lakers would be without three starters and Reaves, who has been the starter in Beverley’s absences. It would lead to quite the change in starting lineup for the Suns game, a team the Lakers have not won against in the last 10 contests between postseason, regular season and preseason.