It was concerning when Jarred Vanderbilt exited the Celtics game early with a non-contact foot injury. Thankfully, x-rays returned negative and early reports indicated that Vanderbilt could miss several weeks.
Unfortunately, the news has gotten more dire as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Brad Turner of the LA Times report that Vanderbilt’s foot injury is ‘significant’ and he could be lost for the rest of the year.
Reporting on ABC NBA Countdown on Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt’s “significant” foot injury and concern he’s lost for season: pic.twitter.com/onCOWnna4c— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2024
Sources said there is a “very good chance” that Lakers versatile forward Jarred Vanderbilt could be out rest of season with a right foot injury suffered in Boston game Thursday night.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 4, 2024
Obviously, Vanderbilt’s health is the most important thing here. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy all season long as he suffered a left heel bursitis earlier in the year and was already playing through pain due to this injury.
For the Lakers, this makes maintaining a level of competitiveness and defensive mentality even more challenging. Vanderbilt was considered one of the best defenders on the team. Darvin Ham described Vando as ‘one of the best Swiss army knives in the NBA.’
If Vanderbilt is gone for the rest of the season, the Lakers should look at these five players as replacement options to make up for his production as we enter the home stretch of regular season games.
This would be a crucial blow to the Lakers as they struggle to get on the right side of .500. Regardless, they have to find a way to move on and attempt to go on a similar run as they went last season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are playing at a high level and deserve to get in the playoffs and take a shot at winning an NBA title.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.