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Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell to miss at least two weeks

first_imgOAKLAND >> The Lakers will somehow try to figure out how to grow their young core without one of their signature players for at least the next two weeks.The Lakers (8-7) ruled out second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell for at least that amount of time after he had a non-invasive platelet-rich plasma injection on Wednesday to treat persisting soreness in his left knee. The Lakers plan to reevaluate Russell’s progress in a week.According to the Lakers’ timetable, Russell would miss at least nine games, including Wednesday’s contest against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. That marks Russell’s earliest return date against the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 9 at Staples Center. Russell will begin rehabbing at some point this week, centering on low-impact cardio and pool work along with knee stabilization and strengthening exercises and therapy.The loss stung the Lakers. Russell had averaged a 16.1 points on 41.3 percent shooting, a team-high 4.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds. “He was playing through it for a while and playing well,” Walton said. “Obviously it got worse.”PRP injections involve drawing blood from the patient’s arm and spinning it in a centrifuge to isolate platelets. Those are then injected into the injured area to stimulate tissue repair.Kobe Bryant often had the procedure in Germany during the latter part of his 20-year NBA career. Russell, 20, had the procedure in Los Angeles by Dr. Steve Yoon.Russell had not experienced a major injury during his NBA rookie season where he played in 80 of the 82 games. But published reports indicate he had a knee injury at Montverde Academy in Florida. Ratings boostTelevision executives want to showcase Lakers games and for once it has nothing to do with Kobe Bryant. With the Lakers’ strong start, TNT added the Lakers’ game in Miami on Dec. 22 in place of Boston at Indiana. Tipoff has changed from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT.“It’s about time,” Walton said. “It’s nice to be on national television. We got guys that like the spotlight. We’ll take it if we have it.” — Staff writer Bill Oram contributed to this report “It’s disappointing because we’ll definitely miss that, but more as we continue to try to build something,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He’s not out there being part of that. He’s not learning and building the trust you get when you try to get with players that are together for a long time.”Lakers veteran guard Jose Calderon, 35, will start in Russell’s absence while backup guard Marcelo Huertas will play more, too. Meanwhile, Lakers forward Julius Randle sat out against the Warriors because of a hip pointer that Walton said has limited his ability to make hard cuts. Yet, Randle downplayed the seriousness of the injury before returning to the trainer’s room. Lakers forward Brandon Ingram also made his first NBA career start at small forward and Luol Deng moved to the power forward spot. As for Russell, Walton said the news regarding his injury “caught me by surprise.” He had sat at the tail end of Thursday’s practice while wearing an ice bag around his left knee. He then missed Friday’s game against San Antonio and Tuesday’s contest against Oklahoma City. In between games, Russell appeared tentative on Sunday against Chicago, scoring eight points on 3-of-11 shooting on attempts mostly from 3-point range (2 for 9). Nonetheless, Russell insisted: “It’s not that big of a deal, I’m all right.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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