While Monday’s game came and passed without Gabe Vincent, a contest once reported as a potential target date for a return, it doesn’t mean the guard isn’t close to being back on the court. The Lakers haven’t been totally whole yet this season with Vincent out since late October.
Prior to Monday’s game, head coach Darvin Ham spoke about Vincent and how close he is to suiting up once again.
“I think Gabe has come a long way,” Ham said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. We’ve checked every box up to this point, everything’s gone according to plan. There’s just a few more conditioning boxes that we need to check and see how he responds to and then we’ll make the ultimate decision to make him active.”
Vincent last played in the team’s 106-103 win against the Magic, missing the team’s last 23 games. After an initial two-week re-evaluation period, Vincent saw his timeline pushed back even more as he reportedly had PRP treatment. Eventually, he was cleared to return to the court and worked his way back to the brink of playing once more.
The Lakers will embark on another road trip after Monday’s game, making stops in Chicago, Minnesota and Oklahoma City before returning home for a Christmas Day showdown against the Celtics. While it’s purely speculative, it feels like a return is in the cards at any point in the coming week.
His return would offer a big lift to the Lakers and a bit of reprieve of sorts for the Lakers backcourt with Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell bearing a heavy burden early in the season.
So do your traditional knock on wood and hope that Vincent finally returns in the near future, as all signs point to.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.