In a move that has been more or less telegraphed throughout the end of preseason, Jarred Vanderbilt is set to miss opening night for the Lakers on Tuesday in Denver. Vando has been sidelined with heel soreness since the first game of the preseason.
Rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino will also miss the opener with his own injury.
Both Jalen Hood-Schifino and Jarred Vanderbilt will be out for the Lakers tomorrow vs. Denver.— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) October 23, 2023
Hood-Schifino's injury is being classified as a "right patella contusion" pic.twitter.com/Yy1UsXTSDz
Vanderbilt had been the only injury during the Lakers preseason. After starting the opening preseason game, Vando has not played another minute. The Lakers had kept his status under wraps throughout the preseason, offering little more than calling him day-to-day.
The Lakers haven’t seemed overly concerned about Vando’s injury, though that could be by design. For now, it doesn’t feel like it will be a long-term injury but, at one point, it didn’t seem like an injury that would hold him out for the preseason either.
When it comes to JHS, his injury appears to be a bit more serious. After banging knees in a preseason game against the Warriors, Hood-Schifino was sidelined for the latter half of the Lakers exhibition schedule.
On top of being out on Tuesday, the Lakers say he will miss the first week of the season and will be re-evaluated on Nov. 3.
Jalen Hood-Schifino will be re-evaluated by team doctors on Nov. 3, the Lakers say. https://t.co/WD6PxlR3JP— Khobi Price (@khobi_price) October 23, 2023
A knee injury is not something JHS had a history of in college, though the nature of how the injury occurred wouldn’t suggest it’s any sort of previous issue. It’s an unfortunate break for the Lakers, but one that hopefully won’t keep the rookie out of action for an extended time.
Fortunately, when it comes to JHS, the expectations for his role weren’t big so he will have time to heal up without any added pressure.
But stop me if you’ve heard this one before: we won’t be able to fully judge the Lakers until Vando is healthy.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.