While all the focus coming into Monday’s game was on LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ availability, it’s a different Lakers forward that will miss the team’s game against Orlando. Rui Hachimura, who began the day listed as probable in the team’s injury report, was downgraded multiple times and will miss the his first game of the season against the Magic.
Lakers say Rui Hachimura has been downgraded to doubtful tonight https://t.co/FgxBPuyOOA— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) October 30, 2023
And Rui Hachimura is now out tonight for the Lakers— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) October 30, 2023
Head coach Darvin Ham spoke pregame about Rui’s status. While he didn’t know exactly when the incident happened, Ham did say the injury occurred during the Kings’ game.
“I don’t recall exactly when it happened,” Ham said. “I remember him grabbing it, though. Obviously, waking up and sleeping on it, having a tough night sleeping, being sensitive to light which triggers headaches, we just thought it’d be best for him to sit this one out.”
While I’m no doctor nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, those feel an awful lot like concussion symptoms and not “left eye contusion” symptoms. I’ll defer to the people who went to school many more years than I did for this.
For the Lakers, this adds to their lack of depth on the wing with Jarred Vanderbilt also sidelined. LeBron looks set to play against the Magic, but with Hachimura out, an opportunity might be opened for other players.
Specifically, Max Christie could see his first real rotation means of the regular season. However, this coming on a night when head coach Darvin Ham just spoke about wanting to tighten his rotation, it may simply mean more minutes for the likes of Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Christian Wood.
Fortunately, it’s unlikely a left eye contusion is going to sideline Rui for an extended period. After Monday, the Lakers are back in action on Wednesday against the Clippers before a four-game road trip.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.