clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Mo Bamba available in Game 4 for Lakers

Mo Bamba missed the first three games of the Western Conference Finals, but it looks like he will return for Game 4

NBA: NOV 25 Magic at Lakers Photo by Icon Sportswire

UPDATE, 5/22 — The Lakers are no longer listing Mo Bamba on their injury report with his ankle soreness ahead of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals vs. the Denver Nuggets, and head coach Darvin Ham told Chris Haynes of TNT that he expects the center to be available for that game.

Does that mean Bamba will play after missing the last nine games for the Lakers? Only time will tell. But he will be available, so if the team wants more size on the floor, they will have the option when Game 4 tips off at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Original story and updates follow.

UPDATE, 5/20 — Despite missing the first three games of the Western Conference Finals, Mo Bamba may still have a chance to be available for the Lakers as their series against the Nuggets continues.

Bamba is already listed as out for Saturday’s Game 3, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Bamba could be cleared to return as soon as Game 4:

Earlier this week, Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times provided a brief update on Twitter after talking with the veteran center at practice, and reported that Bamba was “optimistic” about a potential return this series:

That came after Bamba told Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s Andscape during the second round that he was confident he’d be available in the Western Conference Finals.

We will update this story if his status is upgraded.

Original story follows.

Lakers center Mo Bamba missed the team’s entire series vs. the Golden State Warriors after getting a PRP injection in his left ankle, and according to the latest updates on Monday, it sounds like he will likely miss at least the start of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets as well.

Bamba got the injection to deal with what the team has so far only called “ankle soreness,” and Marc J. Spears of ESPN confirmed the issue is related to the high ankle sprain that cost Bamba several weeks of the regular season after he was acquired at the NBA trade deadline:

Those hopes, at least externally, took a hit on Monday, though. That’s because according to an update the team gave to beat reporters at practice in Denver, Bamba is not currently with his teammates in The Mile High City because he has a follow-up appointment on his ankle on Tuesday morning:

After giving that initial word on him being doubtful, however, the Lakers straight up ruled Bamba out for Game 1 on their injury report a few hours later:

As we noted last round, Bamba played just 88 minutes for the Lakers during the regular season, and suffered this apparent reaggravation after playing just 10 total minutes of garbage time in the first round against the Grizzlies. Given that lack of familiarity with his teammates — to say nothing of his health status — it seems unlikely he ever would have played much of a role in this series outside of being six more fouls to use on Nikola Jokic.

With Bamba out for however long he’ll miss, though, any traditional center duties the Lakers need from a backup will certainly fall to Wenyen Gabriel, with a small chance of Tristan Thompson being broken out of his glass container in case of emergency.

But this matchup was always going to come down to Anthony Davis and the rest of the Lakers making a team effort to contain the two-time MVP. While Bamba might have been nice to have as an option, he was not going to be a panacea there. And with this medical update now following weeks of him being unavailable, it might be safer for all Lakers fans to assume that him getting on the court for the team to play any significant role is unlikely, at best. If he gives the team anything, that’s gravy, not the expectation.

The Lakers and Nuggets will begin their series on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. PT. When and if Bamba will join it remains up in the air for now, so stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for details.

You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Silver Screen & Roll Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Los Angeles Lakers news from Silver Screen & Roll