For a second game running, Russell Westbrook will be unavailable for the Lakers as he is out with left foot soreness. The typically durable Westbrook missing his second straight game with an injury is certainly noteworthy.
Russell Westbrook will miss his second straight game with left foot soreness tonight in Sacramento, per the Lakers.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 21, 2022
Last season, the only time Westbrook missed consecutive games at the end of the year after the team was eliminated from play-in contention. Westbrook has long earned a reputation for his durability, which makes him missing multiple games in the middle of the season perhaps a little concerning.
The Lakers can obviously ill-afford another injury with Anthony Davis already sidelined for an undetermined amount of time. Austin Reaves is doubtful for the contest as well after missing Monday’s game with a sprained ankle, which means the Lakers backcourt is likely set to be even further undermanned against an upstart Kings team on Wednesday.
Bigger picture, Westbrook has developed into a dependable option off the bench and someone who can relied upon for a certain base level of production. The rest of the non-Reaves guards off the bench can not provide that level of consistency.
It’s unclear if this is a long-term injury or not, but any injury now for the Lakers feels like an even bigger blow. The Lakers are a top-heavy team and losing two-thirds of their Big Three makes it feel like a seemingly impossible task to win games.
After Wednesday’s game, the Lakers will be back in action on Friday when they host Charlotte before a Christmas Day matinee in Dallas. Given the unclear nature of Westbrook’s injury, his status in any of those games is unclear. But it goes without saying that the Lakers can use him back ASAP, regardless of how polarizing a player he may be.