The Lakers haven't played with a full roster for most of the season. Rui Hachimura missed five straight games due to a broken nose, Jarred Vanderbilt has only participated in three regular season games and Gabe Vincent has missed most of the season with a left knee effusion.
The good news is that the injury bug is almost over with Vanderbilt and Hachimura back, and now, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, we have a tentative date for Vincent's return.
Guard Gabe Vincent is hopeful for a return as soon as Dec. 18 for the Lakers’ home game against the Knicks, according to league sources. Vincent has been limited to just four games this season because of rehabilitation from left knee effusion. He last played on Oct. 30.
While Vincent's performance was subpar to start the season, he's only played in four games for the purple and gold, so making a declarative statement on his game and fit with this team with such a small sample size seems unfair. He's a career 33% 3-point shooter and with Los Angeles, he's shooting at a 7% clip. I assume he'll shoot much closer to his averages if he plays more games.
Having Vincent back brings this team to full health and gives Darvin Ham all his pieces. We can finally begin to see this team's full potential without needing to contextualize losses with the caveat of who is missing.
While health is always necessary and desired, this is a perfect moment for the Lakers to be healthy. They have plenty of games in front of them to gel and try to climb up the Western Conference rankings and with the team fully healthy, management can make the best decision on if they have enough to win it all or need to make a trade to be title contenders.
While this is good news on Vincent, it's not official. We've seen dates pushed back and setbacks happen with Lakers players set to return time and time again.
Still, this is the first time we've gotten any date for Vincent's return, so it's encouraging and if he can be back versus the New York Knicks, it'll be great for Los Angeles to return from a three-game road trip fully healthy facing a marquee team.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.