NBA rookie D’Angelo Russell suffered a moderate injury Friday night when the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Denver Nuggets.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Russell suffered from a moderate sprained ankle during the second quarter of the game. With nearly three minutes left before halftime, D’Angelo Russell accidentally stepped on Denver guard D.J. Augustin’s foot – rolling his right ankle as a result.
D’Angelo Russell suffered a moderate ankle sprain on Friday, but hopes to play in Sunday’s contest: https://t.co/UB8dlzpbb4
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 26, 2016
Russell stayed on the court for a while after he first injured his ankle until the team trainer, Gary Vitti, had time to check on the star player and examine the injury. Russell’s teammates Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black later helped D’Angelo make his way back to the team’s locker room as he wrapped his arms around them. While he was being examined in the locker room, the 20-year-old former Ohio State Buckeyes player reportedly had X-rays taken that came back negative.
— Inside SoCal Sports (@InsideSoCalSpts) March 26, 2016
D’Angelo Russell opened up about his initial reaction to the injury – including his first thoughts after it happened.
“I just remember stepping down. I don’t know if I stepped on his foot or I just stepped wrong. It felt like my ankle touched the ground when I rolled it. It was a crazy pain I felt… It’s swollen. The pain was bad. Then I couldn’t walk at all. Then I iced it down and the numb went away and I was able to walk.”
Even though the regular season is quickly coming to an end, D’Angelo Russell still has high hopes about recovering and finding his way back to the court as soon as possible.
“I’ll see how it feels in the morning. I definitely want to get out there. We’ve only got a few games left. I want to finish the season out on a positive note. So I definitely want to get out there as soon as possible.”
To say that the Los Angeles Lakers have had a bad season so far this year would be a major understatement for most basketball fans and critics. As stated by the Los Angeles Times, the team is quickly approaching its worst record in the history of the franchise. With only 10 games remaining in the regular season for the Lakers, they desperately need as many wins as possible.
The Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to play the Washington Wizards on their home court Sunday before traveling to play against the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Not having D’Angelo Russell on the court delivering the first-class performances he has become known for during his rookie season in the NBA will make that goal much more difficult to achieve.
However, Lakers head coach Byron Scott is not concerned with rushing to get D’Angelo Russell back on the court until he is physically ready to do so.
“I’m hoping the young man is going to be OK in the next couple of days. Hopefully he can play Sunday. If he’s not close to 100 percent, then he won’t. Then that obviously puts Monday in jeopardy as well. Then we’ll just have to wait until next week. But right now I’m not ruling anything out until tomorrow and then we’ll just see how he feels.”
The fact that D’Angelo Russell was able to stand on his own without assistance when talking to the press after the team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, hopefully speaks volumes about his condition. However, only time will tell whether or not he will be able to return to the court for the Lakers’ upcoming games against the Wizards and the Jazz.
[Image Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images]