After too much good news regarding injuries heading into the weekend, the Lakers were dealt their latest blow on Monday during the game against the Hornets. Russell Westbrook played the first half of the contest but was ruled out for the remainder of the contest at halftime.
After the game, Darvin Ham didn’t have much more clarity on the injury that has bothered him in recent weeks.
“I just got the report that he had foot soreness at halftime,” Ham said. “As a staff, we decided to shut him down.”
Westbrook missed games against Phoenix and Sacramento before Christmas with the same left foot soreness. It’s a rare injury for Westbrook given his reputation as one of the more durable players in the league.
The Lakers survived Monday’s game without Westbrook to come away with the win. There is not much time for rest, though, in the Lakers schedule. After returning home from their five-game road trip, the Lakers have games Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to round out the week, the last of those on the road again.
If Westbrook does remain out, there are, obviously, a host of minutes that open up in the rotation. In the second half on Monday, it was Kendrick Nunn who filled in his minutes, playing six minutes in the third and fourth quarters. Not surprisingly, it was not a particularly impactful stretch of action for Nunn, but the Lakers don’t have many other options.
Max Christie could make a return to the rotation after being out of it in recent contests. Lonnie Walker IV, who did not play on Monday with a tailbone contusion, would eat up some of the extra minutes as well. It certainly helps that Austin Reaves broke out of his slump against Charlotte as well with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
For now, it’s not even entirely clear whether Westbrook will be out moving forward. Considering this is an injury that dates back multiple weeks and is flaring up once again, it is something to continue monitoring moving forward.