The Los Angeles Lakers are less than a week out from the start of training camp, but it appears that they are already having some health issues with one of their big offseason acquisitions.
According to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, veteran center Brook Lopez may miss some of the preseason due to a bothersome back that he has been dealing with this summer.
Lopez, 29, has been remarkably durable in recent years, appearing in at least 72 games four out of the past five seasons. However, he has dealt with back issues this summer that could cause him to miss part of the preseason.
The Lakers will likely take the precautionary route with the injury given where it’s located. There would be no reason to risk him suffering any setbacks in the preseason that could keep him out of the regular season.
Los Angeles had acquired Lopez from the Brooklyn Nets just prior to the 2017 NBA Draft in a trade that sent away guard D’Angelo Russell. He is coming off a productive season where he averaged a team-high 20.5 points with 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
Regardless if Lopez is able to take part in the preseason or not, he is in line to be the team’s starter heading into the 2017-18 season. That said, his absence from any preseason action could open up time for Ivica Zubac and rookie Thomas Bryant to gain more valuable playing time. Meanwhile, recently signed big man Andrew Bogut would be able to make a stronger case to make the Lakers’ 15-man regular season roster.