Despite initial optimism that he could return from his four-game absence on Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony will not remain out for the Lakers against the Jazz. The team’s injury report listed Anthony as out on Tuesday, alongside Avery Bradley and Kendrick Nunn.
Avery Bradley is out tomorrow with a knee injury pic.twitter.com/vXy1B5McHb— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 15, 2022
Anthony took part in a workout on Monday but did not practice with the team. On Tuesday, he continued doing more work and head coach Frank Vogel said after practice that he would be listed as questionable with his availability on Wednesday dependent on his response to Monday and Tuesday’s work.
“He did some work yesterday,” Vogel said. “He didn’t play live yesterday. He had a pretty good workout and got up and down today. He’ll be listed as questionable for tomorrow based on how he feels from today’s workout.”
Either Anthony did not respond well at all to the workout or the Lakers simply did not want to risk him re-aggravating their injury in the final game before the All-Star break. Bradley’s injury, meanwhile, was unexpected and opens up a spot in the starting lineup that will likely go to one of Malik Monk or Austin Reaves.
One of the few consistent contributors this season, Anthony’s absence has been felt by the Lakers in recent games. Midway through the Clippers game nearly two weeks ago, Anthony exited after clearly holding the back of his leg. The diagnosis of a hamstring strain was not a surprise in the days that followed and has since kept him sidelined.
On Monday, head coach Frank Vogel provided an update on Anthony’s status ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Jazz.
“He’s working out as we speak,” Vogel said. “We won’t have a firm answer as to whether he’s available for the Jazz game or not but it’s not out of the question he comes back and plays in that game.”
In the four games he’s missed, the Lakers have gone just 1-3 with each of the latter two losses being by just two points. While Vogel acknowledged the Lakers should still be winning those games, his absence has been felt.
“We have missed Carmelo Anthony in the lineup,” Vogel said. “No other way to put it than that. I definitely think those two games could have been different. We still have to win those games regardless of who is in the lineup. But we’re definitely eager to get him back.”
Not only has Anthony been a consistent contributor this season, he’s also one of the few forwards on the roster and the only outside of LeBron James that had been consistently productive. In that sense alone, the Lakers have sorely missed him over the last 10-plus days.
Regardless of when he returns, though, the Lakers will gladly welcome back Anthony and his production to the rotation.