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.
Injury update: Rui Hachimura is out for the rest of the game at New Orleans due to a left calf strain.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 1, 2024
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.
The concern level is at a “high level” when it comes to Rui Hachimura but the Lakers don’t want to jump to any conclusions Darvin Ham says. He’ll go through a more thorough evaluation process.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 1, 2024
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.