Lakers' Nick Young has small fracture in knee, could return this season

Lakers' Nick Young has small fracture in knee, could return this season
Nick Young looks to drive to the hoop after shedding Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake on a screen during the first half of the Lakers' game Wednesday against Portland at Moda Center. (Greg Wahl-Stephens / Associated Press)

Nick Young earned a reprieve of sorts, his season possibly extended because of not-so-damaging medical results.

A CT scan showed a small fracture on his left knee that was expected to heal on its own. The Lakers forward would be evaluated on a weekly basis, the team said Wednesday, though there are under four weeks left in the season.

Young has missed the last 11 games of an eminently forgettable season, averaging 13.4 points and shooting what would be a career-low 36.6%.

In fact, he made news Wednesday in a different way. A typically Young way.


He showed up to the Lakers' training facility up with a hairdo that had teammates and coaches cringing. Young's head was shaved down on the sides but had a springy dreadlocks-type look on the top and in back of his head.

"It looks like a bunch of worms," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said. "When I first saw him, I just started cracking up laughing. I said, 'You must have lost a bet.' "

Scott is bald, as Young pointed out in a brief conversation with media members.

"People with no hair wouldn't understand," he said. "I would be mad at somebody that had hair, if I didn't have hair.

"I just felt like it was time for a change," added Young, who skirted questions about his balky knee. "I was watching 'Kid 'N Play,' then I was sitting home and watching 'Booty Call' — I was like 'Jamie Foxx has a nice haircut I want to try.' That's the inspiration behind it."

Teammate Jeremy Lin had no words to offer on Young's look, although he did sigh and shake his head.

Rookie Julius Randle, who was working diligently on his rehabilitation (right leg and foot) to be ready to play for the Lakers' summer-league team, called Young's look "very special."

"He looks like the guy from 'Boyz N the Hood,' — O-Dog, whatever his name is," Randle said. "That's the haircut he's going for. But what else can you expect from Nick?"

Young, 29, has three more years and $16.3 million left on his contract. He averaged a career-best 17.9 points last season while shooting 43.5%.


When: 7:30 p.m. PDT Thursday.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 17-49, Jazz 30-37.

Record vs. Jazz: 1-1.

Update: Utah has played much better thanks to the emergence of shot-blocker/rebounder Rudy Gobert. Utah fell to 21-35 after losing a home game to the Lakers last month, 100-97, but a recent winning trend included victories over Memphis and Houston. Gobert was a late first-round pick in 2013 and was averaging 10.4 points, 14.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots since the All-Star break.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

Twitter: @EricPincus

Pincus is a Times correspondent.