Despite treating the game as a true final warm-up for the regular season, the Lakers still practiced some caution for Thursday’s game against the Suns. Newly acquired guard Gabe Vincent will not play against Phoenix after dealing with back tightness over the last week, head coach Darvin Ham announced pregame.
Jalen Hood-Schifino and Jarred Vanderbilt both will also be out for the game.
Darvin Ham said the Lakers will hold Gabe Vincent out tonight as a precaution. He’s been dealing with back soreness, but the hope is that he’s ready to go for the regular season opener.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 20, 2023
Jarred Vanderbilt remains out due to the left heel soreness that’s kept him out since the preseason opener. He’s set to be re-evaluated tomorrow.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 20, 2023
Rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino is also out tonight.
Vincent has not played in the last two preseason games while dealing with the same injury. He did, however, return to practice this week, an encouraging sign for his availability in Tuesday’s season-opening contest.
Vanderbilt’s absence is not surprising or unexpected. At the beginning of the week, Ham ruled out Vanderbilt for the final two games of the preseason and noted he would be re-evaluated on Friday.
Vando has not played since the first game of the preseason. While Vincent’s absence from Thursday’s game feels precautionary, Vanderbilt’s is, obviously, a bit more serious.
Hood-Schifino’s absence will be the second consecutive game he’s missed. After playing in all four games to open the preseason, JHS will miss the final two contests after banging knees with a player during the Golden State game.
While we received updates about Vincent returning to practice this week, those updates did not come for JHS. To be fair, that does not explicitly mean he hasn’t practiced, as we don’t know for certain that is the case. Both JHS and Vincent were considered day-to-day this week.
The Lakers will have a notable break between Thursday’s preseason finale and Tuesday’s regular season opener in Denver. After that, the team’s next game will be at home next Thursday.
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