After the Lakers held their 16th practice of the season on Monday, head coach Frank Vogel issued a few injury updates, saying that Carmelo Anthony would miss the team’s Tuesday game against the Milwaukee Bucks, that he wasn’t sure if Dwight Howard would also be out or not, and that Kendrick Nunn is still not really close to a return to the floor.
Anthony missed the Lakers’ win against New York Knicks on Sunday with a hamstring strain he suffered in their previous loss to the Clippers, and Vogel says the veteran forward will miss at least one more matchup.
“He’s going to be out tomorrow. I know that. I don’t know about the game after that, second night of a back-to-back,” Vogel said. “But we’re going to be cautious with it, make sure it’s something that doesn’t linger.”
Thankfully for the Lakers, the return of LeBron James and resuscitation of Trevor Ariza can allow them to have enough forward depth (between those two and Stanley Johnson) to survive without Anthony for a while longer. The team will miss his offensive punch, but they have enough depth at his spot to get by for now, and can remain a bit more defensively stout while they do so in his stead.
Howard, meanwhile, was a late scratch against the Knicks due to having his back tighten up during warmups, and Vogel said he didn’t practice on Monday. He added that he wasn’t sure if the 36-year-old would be available on Tuesday, and the team listed him as questionable on their latest injury report:
As far as Nunn — who has missed the entire season so far with a particularly stubborn bone bruise in his right knee that has seen him deal with setbacks all season — it sounds like he’s still not really close.
In the latest instance of “one step forward, one step back” with this injury, Vogel gave seemingly positive news recently, saying that Nunn told him he felt “good” after a recent workout. But as has been the pattern all year, it was shortly followed by a dousing of cold water over any optimism that Nunn would be back soon.
“He’s doing some more on the court work, but still not really ramped up to where he’s close to playing,” Vogel said after practice.
Whether Nunn will ever play for L.A. — given his frequent inclusion in various trade scenarios involving this team — remains to be seen. But for now, the Lakers will continue to be without both him and Anthony when they host the Bucks on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT.