Sports Out West

Lakers news: Steve Blake to miss at least six weeks with elbow injury

Photo Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt took another hit on Thursday as Steve Blake will miss at least six weeks with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, according to the team.

The 10-year veteran is also expected to undergo platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in his right elbow to help speed up the healing process of the torn ligament.

Blake suffered the injury in the second half of the Lakers’ 100-86 win over the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 24. The 33-year-old was already filling as the team’s starting point guard for the injured Steve Nash, who is still recovering from nerve root irritation in his back, and was performing quite well as he is averaging  9.8 points and 7.7 assists this season. In the last 13 games, he had recorded double digit assists totals in nine games that included four straight contests with a season-high 16 assists in the team’s 114-109 win over the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 17.

With Blake out for an extended period of time, it now leaves Los Angeles’ roster without a true point as Jordan Farmar is also out with a torn left hamstring that he suffered last week. Kobe Bryant is expected to pick up point guard duties in the starting lineup for time being and Xavier Henry will continue that role off the bench. Henry in the last couple of games has been productive in that role as he has scored in double figures in each game.

As for Bryant, this is not unfamiliar territory as he played a similar role last season when Nash out with various injuries, including missing the last eight games of the year. During that span, the 15-time All-Star had seven games of at least five assists with two of them in double digit assist totals.

Via Lakersnation.com’s Serena Winters:

“I don’t really have much of a choice right now,” Bryant said of his responsibility as the point guard with Blake out. “I gotta get out there and do a lot more than expected.”

This latest injury force another change in the starting lineup with Bryant sliding over to point guard, Jodie Meeks will likely move over to shooting guard and Wesley Johnson will fill the small forward position for the time being.

There is also option for Lakers as they could possible make uses of their open roster spot to bring in a point guard such as former Lakers Darius Morris, who was cut earlier this season by the Philadelphia 76ers, or Sebastian Telfair, who was a rumored target by the team this past offseason. They can also trade for the Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who on Thursday was rumored to be a part of a deal that would send him to the New York Knicks.

Photo Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.