Sources: Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. undergoing surgery on fractured left hand today, with early expectation he'll miss 4-to-6 weeks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 3, 2017
Larry Nance Jr Out 4-6 Weeks
Nance, 24, has started all eight of the Lakers games this season, making him a key loss in Head Coach Luke Walton’s rotation. Averaging a career-high 23 minutes per game, Nance has started the season in great form. Currently contributing 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds, the third-year man has been valuable.
The injury occurred during Thursday’s 113-110 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, with Nance leaving the game in the second half. Nance is no stranger to injuries, with the forward missing time last season through knee and wrist ailments. The Lakers are yet to announce a timetable for his return. However, players who suffered similar injuries have missed significant time.
RE: Larry Nance Jr.
Back in 2014, Russell Westbrook fractured his 2nd metacarpal & had surgery…he was out about a month & missed 14 games
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) November 3, 2017
In Nance’ absence, the team will likely look to rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma. Yet to start a game this season, Kuzma has made a name for himself coming off the bench. Averaging 15 points and five boards, he will see a bump in minutes in the coming games. The rookie out of Utah was a late first-round pick, who has already exceeded expectations. A fan favorite, Kuzma has been knocking on the door for a starting spot since preseason.
— @LWOS LA Lakers (@LWOS_LALakers) November 3, 2017
Another player who will likely see a rise in minutes is Julius Randle. Benched to start the season, Randle has been playing well off the pine. Providing energy and a paint presence, the former top pick should look to take advantage of a great opportunity to regain Walton’s trust.
Starting the season 3-5, this Lakers team must adapt. Despite their youth, this team has displayed great improvement at the defensive end, as they look to gradually improve as the season goes on.