Any last chance hope of Kendrick Nunn making it back for the tail end of the season seems to be slipping out the door for the Lakers. With just nine games remaining on the schedule and a prime practice window for the team to potentially welcome the guard back into the fold, Nunn remained sidelined on Friday, unable to participate in any on-court work as head coach Frank Vogel revealed following the practice.
The team had Thursday off, but practiced on Friday and plans to again on Saturday before playing a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, but Nunn “didn’t do anything” on Friday.
Nunn has still not made his regular-season debut for the Lakers after playing in a few preseason games (the initial timetable the team gave for reevaluation was 2-3 weeks). And while the hope was Nunn would be able to make a late-March return — as indicated by general manager Rob Pelinka — his inability to get on the court at this late stage indicates a much more unfortunate fate for his season.
As to why the Lakers haven’t ruled him out for the season given his inability to get on the court with the team? Not even Vogel is sure about that.
“That’s a good question,” Vogel conceded. “I haven’t circled back with a recent update on that other than to know that he’s trying... I don’t know when the next MRI is, but the intent is for him to continue to ramp up activity to where his imaging is coming back clean. And I think there have been some improvements, but not enough to see him back in practice.”
Friday and Saturday mark the final multi-day break of the season for the Lakers and, likely, the final practices before a potential postseason berth. Given the Lakers' long-held preference for having players get on-court work before being cleared to join the team, the chances of Nunn getting on the court feel remarkably slim at this point, almost ensuring what has been effectively a lost season for the guard.
Other Lakers Injury Updates
- LeBron James, who did not play in Wednesday’s game against the Sixers, did not take part in practice for the Lakers on Friday. Vogel said he remains day-to-day, and will be a game-day decision for Sunday’s contest against the Pelicans.
- Likewise, Talen Horton-Tucker did not take part in practice as he continues dealing with a Grade 2 ankle sprain that has seen him miss five of the last 12 games. As with LeBron, Horton-Tucker is considered day-to-day, with his status to be determined on Sunday.
- While Anthony Davis’ rehab has been positive, he was not yet able to practice on Friday, and has not even been cleared for the team’s non-contact session on Saturday.