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Lakers news: D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young inching closer to return

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers for the last couple of weeks have become an injury-plagued team, but things appear to be finally heading in the right direction. 

Los Angeles saw a positive sight at Thursday’s practice with both D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young returning to the court in non-contact drills. 

According to the LA Times.com, Russell voiced much optimism about the recovery process of his sore right knee that required a plasma-rich platelet injection two weeks ago. 

“I mean, I feel good,” Russell said. “I waited so long to get back on the court until I was 100%. I feel great. Just about, I don’t know, knocking the dust off before I get … in the game, so try to get it out now, knock the rust off while I’m out here now.”

This marked the first time that the 20-year-old has returned to practice with the Lakers in nearly three weeks. He has missed 11 out of the last 12 games for an injury that was originally estimated that he would miss at least two to three weeks. 

Russell had been taking part in off-court rehab work prior to his re-evaluation on Tuesday when a doctor gave him the green light to participate in on-court activities.

Head coach Luke Walton has already stated that the second-year guard won’t play in Friday’s tilt against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Walton has also indicated that he wants to see Russell first go through a complete practice where he at least takes part in a 3-on-3 game before deciding to put him in a game. His next chance to show progress will be on Saturday’s practice. 

Meanwhile, Young has missed the last five games due to a calf strain that he suffered less than two minutes into the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 29. He is in the midst of a rebirth campaign averaging 13.3 points on 45.5 percent shooting, and 41.4 percent from beyond the arc. 

The 31-year-old is targeting Monday’s game road game against the Sacramento Kings for his return. Los Angeles is also dealing with injuries to Jose Calderon (right hamstring strain) and center Tarik Black (sprained right ankle).

For fans looking to see Russell and Young return, you can find Lakers tickets available at Razorgator.com. Tickets to the upcoming Kings game in Sacramento start at just $34, one of the cheaper NBA tickets available this season for the Lake Show.

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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