In the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, Los Angeles Lakers third-year forward Larry Nance Jr. suffered a broken second metacarpal in his left hand.
Correction from the Lakers re: Larry Nance, Jr.: “X-rays were positive for fracture of the 2nd metacarpal – left hand.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 3, 2017
The injury occurred in the third quarter while attempting to block a shot to which he was immediately taken out of the game to undergo x-rays of his injured hand. There is currently no timetable for a return at this point in time, but it’s likely something that will keep him off the court for the next couple of months.
In the early goings of the 2017-18 campaign, Nance Jr. had emerged as a key contributor earning the starting spot over Julius Randle for Los Angeles as he averaged a career-high 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds while starting all seven games entering Thursday’s contest. This also includes notching three double-doubles and registering double-figure rebounds on four occasions.
Head coach Luke Walton had touted his ability to impact the game defensively and move the ball offensively with the first unit. His absence could lead to the Lakers making an intriguing lineup change as Randle would be the likely choice, but the continued emergence of rookie Kyle Kuzma, who scored a career-high 22 points in the loss to the Trail Blazers could throw a wrench into those plans.
Los Angeles will have to make a choice quickly as they will head back home to Staples Center to host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night in D’Angelo Russell‘s first return since being traded.