The Los Angeles Lakers have been without the services of rookie guard Josh Hart for the last few weeks due to a broken finger that required surgery.
However, it appears that the Lakers will have soon have the 23-year-old back in the mix as he is targeting a return date on March 30 against the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet.
Lakers rookie Josh Hart, hanging with us live for @SpectrumSN pre-game show, says he plans to return from broken left hand March 30 vs. Milwaukee.
It would be right at the start of the 4-to-6 week timetable laid out by the Lakers after his surgery.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 19, 2018
Hart has missed the last nine games due to the injury, which this timetable should put him in line to miss the next four games prior to that Friday home tilt against the Bucks. In his absence, Isaiah Thomas has received the bulk of the playing time off the bench in those nine games played in March he is averaging 17.8 points with 6.0 assists in 29.9 minutes per game. This includes scoring in double figures all but once with five 20-point performances.
In 55 games played this season, Hart is averaging 6.6 points on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc with 3.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. He has started the last 10 games where he has posted four double-doubles over that span. In total 20 starts, he is averaging 11.5 points on 48.3 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Hart’s return to the fold should changes things up a bit as it could jumble up the minute workload between both the Villanova product Thomas. Although there is a target date in mind, the Lakers will likely take the precautionary approach with the situation. This will first require him to go through a full practice before he can get back onto the floor.
In the meantime, the Lakers will continue to rely upon Thomas to be the first guard off the bench in the Sixth Man role as the primary ball handler. If anything, this is an encouraging sign to have one of their young promising players back in the mix.