Randle has already underwent physicals with two team doctors and is being examined by Dr. Porter as a precautionary measure. Leading up to the draft, there have been some concern over the 19-year-old’s right foot as it was reported that a screw, which was placed in his foot to repair a broken fifth metatarsal, may need to be replaced.
The Lakers and Randle appear to be optimistic about the situation, as both feel that his foot will not require surgery. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak pointed to the fact that Randle was able to play in all 40 games last season with Kentucky and was able to perform at a high level at that, as evident by his 24 double-doubles that were second-most by a freshman behind Michael Beasley in Division I history. He was able to average 15.o points and 10.4 rebounds per game, win SEC Freshman of the Year, and also played a major factor in his team’s run through the NCAA tournament to the championship game against UConn.
“For the next two or three days, we’re going to continue with the physical process,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak on Monday. “Based on his performance and play last year through a full schedule, we don’t expect anything different to come up.”
However if Randle were to indeed undergo surgery, Kupchak stated that he could be out for up to six months. This timetable for recovery could set back his NBA debut to possibly mid-December at the earliest. In his introductory press conference on Monday, Randle did express desire to play in the summer league that is set to begin July 11 in Las Vegas.
The Lakers look to be confident about the outcome of Wednesday’s exam, as they have named Randle to their Summer league roster that also includes notable names such as Kendall Marshall, who started most of last season for Los Angeles, former Dallas Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois, two undrafted players in former Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane and former Ohio State forward LaQuinton Ross, and the team’s 46th overall selection in this year’s draft in former Missouri guard Jordan Clarkson.
Although Randle has been placed on the Lakers’ summer league team, another possible hold-up could be his contract situation which he will need to get done within the next week in order to participate in a couple of weeks. The Lakers do not seem concerned about it, but rather are confident that his contract with the team will be settled quickly and that he will receive medical clearance following Wednesday’s examination.
Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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