Kyle Kuzma left Team USA before it went to China for the World Cup with what was publically called “left ankle soreness.” Although, with the way players left that team, there was speculation about how injured any player was vs. him being allowed to leave on his terms rather than be cut.
Turns out, Kuzma’s ankle injury was legit — so much so he could miss the start of training camp, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
On one level this doesn’t sound serious in a “he could miss time during the season” kind of way, but any foot or ankle injury is a cause for some concern because they can linger. Stress injuries, the precursor to a fracture, are overuse injuries, which is another concern.
Kuzma returns to a very different team when the Lakers open training camp Saturday — Anthony Davis is in, while the former young core of Lonzo Ball/Brandon Ingram/Josh Hart are out (and in New Orleans). The Lakers are title contenders thanks to LeBron James and Davis being on the roster, but there are a lot of questions about if the supporting cast around them is up to that task.
A lot is going to fall on Kuzma’s shoulders, he will need to be the No. 3 option on this team, and play much better defense than he has in the past, to get the Lakers where they want to go.
While his shoulders will have that weight, his feet will apparently be clad in Puma shoes (once those feet are healthy, anyway). Kuzma’s wallet will get a lot heavier from that too, which is a good thing from the young star.