Perhaps more than just about any other team so far this season, the Lakers have had to endure injuries that, at times, have left them extremely shorthanded. But, at last, it appears the team is on an upward trend in terms of injury news.
Jarred Vanderbilt was cleared to return to the court on Friday while Jalen Hood-Schifino has also quietly made progress in his return from injury. On Tuesday, head coach Darvin Ham gave updates all the pair, along with Gabe Vincent, in their progress in rehab.
The Lakers weren’t exactly clear on what Vanderbilt received the green light to do when they announced a “return to play” progression. Ham provided a little bit of clarity on Tuesday.
“I don’t want to put a time on it,” Ham said. “The biggest thing with Vando is, because for so long now he’s had to do stationary drills just individually...day-by-day, him ramping up, getting his conditioning, low-impact conditioning as well as basketball court stuff just to see he recovers from that day to day to day. It’s good that he got greenlit to start ramping up and being more aggressive in workouts, but it’s a day-by-day deal.”
It’s going to be a process, as you can tell, with Vando’s return. But that he’s on the court and moving forward is a big positive. His skill set has been sorely missed by the team and getting him back will unlock even more for the Lakers.
Despite suffering an injury at roughly the same time as Vanderbilt, Hood-Schifino’s recovery has taken place largely in the background. The first signs of his recovery taking steps forward was a video on Tuesday morning of him taking part in Lakers shootaround.
Lakers rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino went through full court drills Tuesday morning. He’s yet to make his season debut, out with a right patella contusion. pic.twitter.com/bsQM0bz1Ng— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 14, 2023
While there wasn’t a big update on him as there was with Vando, they both are on roughly the same timeline as him.
“Same as Vando,” Ham said “He’s status quo, day-by-day, just ramping him up even more. And, again, trying to take notes of how well they’re recovering when they do that ramp up.”
Obviously, JHS’ return won’t carry the same weight as he almost certainly won’t immediately start playing as Vando will. But it’s certainly still worth noting.
The last, and least noteworthy, update is on Vincent. While he’s another player who will re-enter the rotation upon his return from injury, there was minimal update on him on Tuesday.
“It’s another situation where we’re constantly working through it with team doctors,” Ham said. “We’ll have an update for you here probably within the next couple of days.”
The Lakers have a game on Wednesday and Friday, so expect an update pregame from Ham prior to Friday’s contest.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.