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Jordan Hill might be lost to Lakers for an extended time

Jordan Hill returns to L.A. to consult Lakers doctors about hip injury

Another Lakers player is getting sent home.

Jordan Hill will fly to Los Angeles on Tuesday to consult with team doctors, a pattern all too familiar to Lakers fans.

Hill left in the first quarter of the Lakers' 92-80 loss to New York on Sunday, with was initially called a quadriceps injury. Hill later referred to it as a strained hip flexor.

He was moving very slowly around the locker room, a shame for him coming off his best game of the season, a 26-point, 12-rebound effort in the Lakers' surprising two-overtime victory over Chicago on Thursday.

Magic Johnson said he watched some of the Lakers game Sunday. Hopefully, it was only a few minutes for his sake, the Lakers shooting 35.5% and producing one assist among their five starters.

But Johnson couldn't hide his thoughts on Hill, who was the only Laker to start every game this season. The team listed him as out for Wednesday's game at Milwaukee.

"I hope Hill's injury is not serious because he's been the heart and soul of the team all season," Johnson said on Twitter.

The Lakers have come to like Hill's game quite a bit.

He tends to rely too much on an improved outside shot, but Hill, 27, has shown he can play extended minutes and is averaging career highs almost across the board, most notably in points (12.3) rebounds (8.0) and minutes (28.0).

With the trade deadline a little more than two weeks away, he remains one of the Lakers' most tradable options because of his play and also a team-friendly contract that can be terminated by a club after the season.

But if the Lakers keep him, they are leaning heavily toward picking up his $9-million team option next season, though it won't become official for several months.

"I feel like I've done pretty good. I've had some ups and downs, but I still managed to stay on track, to do my job," Hill said. "Just have to wait and see, I guess."

Hill said he was told he would be out from two days to two weeks, but that was before his condition showed no improvement Monday.

Injury update

The Lakers have lost Kobe Bryant (torn rotator cuff), Julius Randle (broken leg) and Xavier Henry (torn Achilles' tendon) to season-ending injuries. Steve Nash didn't make it out of exhibition play because of chronic back pain.

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