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Rui Hachimura exits Pelicans game with left calf strain, concern at ‘high level’ for Lakers

After playing just eight minutes, Rui Hachimura was ruled out Sunday’s game against the Pelicans with a left calf strain.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers’ close to 2023 is a poetic one as they lose bodies left and right in their final game. With D’Angelo Russell and Cam Reddish already out heading into the game, Rui Hachimura — who started the game — played just eight minutes before exiting the game and being ruled out with a calf strain.

After the game, the news didn’t sound much better on first impression when Darvin Ham was asked about the injury in the postgame presser.

Hachimura has dealt with a host of injuries this season. First, a concussion forced him to miss four games at the beginning of the season. Then, a nasal fracture forced him to have surgery and eventually wear a mask upon his return.

That mask has been something he’s struggled to adapt to and led to some poor performances out of the gate. However, just as he was once again getting his footing, this injury has him out yet again.

Unfortunately, there’s no telling how serious this injury — even if the initial concern level is high — is and how long he may miss. It isn’t an injury that he’s dealt with while on the Lakers, so there’s no precedent. The good news is that the Lakers are about to spend a long time in Los Angeles in January, which should make treatment on the injury simpler.

But it’s yet another blow for the Lakers as they have dealt with all season, especially for a player the expected a lot of contribution from. As I’ve said too often this year, here’s to knocking on wood and hoping this one isn’t a long-term one.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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