It’s another blow to a sinking ship.
Brandon Ingram had been one of the few bright spots for the Lakers since the All-Star break. On a floundering team, Ingram had started to be consistently aggressive with the ball and was averaging 27.8 points per game through six games. It was the Ingram the Lakers had hoped to see all season next to LeBron (but hadn’t, he was passive and deferred much of the time), the one who might have been of more interest to New Orleans in trade talks last month.
Now Ingram is out for the season, the Lakers announced Saturday.
The shoulder injury that sidelined him the last two games turned out to be a Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) in his arm, according to team doctors.
This comes on the day Lonzo Ball is to be re-evaluated by team doctors, but coach Luke Walton said the young guard is not close to a return and there is a sense around the team he could be shut down for the season as well.
Ingram’s condition is potentially serious — recurring DVT in the legs is what ended Chris Bosh’s NBA career, although in many cases it can be treated for a return to the court.
Here is a definition of DVT, via the Mayo Clinic:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but also can occur with no symptoms.
The danger is if the clot breaks off and moves to the lungs. The cause can be the physicality and jostling that goes on in an NBA game, and long plane flights can add to the problem.
For the Lakers, who are all but mathematically dead in the West playoff chase, this is just another blow in what has been a disappointing season. LeBron James will have his minutes reduced the rest of the season, and the veterans on one-year contracts the Lakers have brought in have played like the kind of guys available on one-year deals for a reason. It all adds to the pressure on the Lakers’ front office heading into the offseason.