The Lakers provided updates on both Gabe Vincent (left knee effusion) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (right patella contusion) on Thursday with the news being on two much different planes.
The good news is that Hood-Schifino is cleared for a “return to play” progression. The bad news, though, is that Vincent will be re-evaluated again in two weeks.
Lakers updates: Gabe Vincent (left knee effusion) is progressing and will be re-evaluated again in two weeks.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) November 16, 2023
Jalen Hood-Schifino (right patella contusion) has begun a return-to-play progression.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN provided a bit more context on why the Lakers are waiting multiple more weeks before re-evaluating Vincent once more as he had multiple procedures done to that knee.
Gabe Vincent’s L knee will be re-evaluated in 2 weeks, LAL says. He’s been out since Oct. 30 because of swelling in the knee and has progressed in his rehab, per the team. Vincent had his knee drained and underwent PRP treatment as part of his recovery process, sources told ESPN.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 16, 2023
Let’s start with the good news, mainly because there isn’t much to elaborate on. As with Jarred Vanderbilt recently, while Hood-Schifino is cleared for “return to play” progression, it’s a vague term that doesn’t offer anything concrete regarding a timeline. The Lakers intentionally do that to both keep the pressure off the player from returning on a certain date but also so they don’t have to commit to any sort of timeline themselves.
This may be why the update on Vincent is even more concerning. While they can say he is progressing in his rehab, the fact they aren’t even going to re-evaluate him again for two more weeks isn’t great. And if it’s starting to bring up memories of Kendrick Nunn, that’s both fair and also a bit premature.
But it isn’t trending in a good direction.
If Vincent is two weeks from even being cleared to a “return to play” progression, then he’s three or four weeks from even getting back on the court, realistically.
Fortunately, the Lakers have the depth to absorb the injury, but it also means they’ll have to reintegrate Vincent into a more established rotation even further down the line. It’s certainly a subpar situation but one that is largely out of anyone’s control, no matter how frustrating it is for all involved.
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