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Wenyen Gabriel exits game vs. Mavs with sprained left ankle, listed as day-to-day

Because every time it rains, it pours for the Lakers, Tuesday’s blowout loss came with the accompanying news of an injury to one of the few viable big men left on the roster: Wenyen Gabriel.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

This disaster of a Lakers season is getting a fitting, if also unfortunate, ending. In a year when so little has gone right and injuries have played such a central role, the team is going to limp to the finish line, figuratively and literally, as Wenyen Gabriel is the latest Laker to suffer an injury.

Late in Tuesday’s blowout loss to the Mavericks, forward Gabriel limped off the court, to the bench and eventually the locker room. After the game, the Lakers announced that Gabriel sprained his left ankle and would be considered day-to-day moving forward.

The Lakers barely have any available bigs left at this point. With Anthony Davis and LeBron James already having uncertain statuses that resulted in them missing Tuesday and unlikely to play on Thursday, adding Gabriel to the list of bigs who could potentially miss time and Dwight Howard is the only center left on the roster.

Coincidentally, Howard played 5:16 in Tuesday’s loss to Dallas. His minutes have largely been matchup-based and he will almost certainly play against Rudy Gobert on Thursday. Stanley Johnson also has had success this year matching up against Gobert.

But the Lakers being incredibly, incredibly thin in the frontcourt is suboptimal coming up against a big like Gobert. And especially given the necessity of the Lakers earning wins, having talented players unavailable is also suboptimal!

Gabriel was also one of the few Lakers who seemed to give a damn in recent weeks, and played with a consistently high effort level. With so few of those guys on the roster at this point this season, him missing time on top of everything else could spells doom for a Lakers team that continues to tumble down the standings.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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