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#pounditWednesday, May 22, 2024

Lakers big man likely finished for regular season after opting for knee surgery

The Lakers logo at half court

Apr 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers logo at center court during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are facing yet another stretched-out absence from a key rotation player.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Monday that Lakers big man Christian Wood has decided to undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee and is expected to miss several more weeks. Wojnarowski notes that the Lakers end the regular season on Apr. 14 (in just under four weeks).

Wood, 28, has been sidelined since the All-Star break with the injury. In the first half of the season for the Lakers, he was averaging 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in under 18 minutes per game off the bench.

For a team badly lacking in size behind Anthony Davis, the Lakers have had a hard time replicating Wood’s production since. Jaxson Hayes has become the go-to backup 5, but he does not provide the same all-around offense that Wood does. The Lakers are also experimenting with a super-small second unit where Taurean Prince picks up some frontcourt minutes and Max Christie steps into the rotation.

In any case though, the Lakers need answers quick after dropping their last two straight games to fall back to tenth in the West. They will probably have to solidify their spot in the regular season standings without the assistance of Wood, who now becomes their latest very long-term absentee.


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