Lakers' Wayne Ellington out for the season because of separated shoulder

Lakers guard Wayne Ellington has a separated shoulder

The Lakers lost another player for the season Thursday, when an MRI revealed that veteran guard Wayne Ellington has a separated shoulder.

Ellington suffered a grade 1 shoulder separation in a 113-92 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

"He was pretty sore this morning," Coach Byron Scott said Thursday at practice.

Injuries have defined the season for the Lakers, with long-term or season ending-injuries to Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (leg), Steve Nash (back), Xavier Henry (Achilles' tendon), Nick Young (finger, knee) and Ronnie Price (elbow).

Ellington has played in 65 of the Lakers' 74 games this season, missing six games in December after the death of his father.

According to a team spokesman, the Lakers have applied for another hardship exception, asking the NBA for permission to increase the team's roster to 16 with four players out with injury.

The team previously signed guard Jabari Brown to a pair of 10-day contracts via a hardship exception. In order to sign Brown through the end of the season, the Lakers were required to get back down to 15 players, waiving the retiring veteran Nash.

"We've got three guards, that's enough," said Scott, adding that he and General Manager Mitch Kupchak would "talk today about some things, so we'll see where it goes."

The Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at Staples Center.

Without Ellington, the Lakers would need to rely on heavy minutes from rookie Jordan Clarkson, Jeremy Lin and Brown. If the hardship exception is granted, as expected, the team can add another free agent.

In his sixth year as a pro, Ellington proved to be a positive force for the Lakers this season both on the floor and in the locker room, averaging 10points a game while shooting 41.2% from the field and 37% from three-point range.

"I really like Wayne a lot," Scott said. "He did a much better job than I expected, but I really shouldn't be that surprised because I know what type of kid he is, and what type of work ethic he has."

Ellington will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

sports@latimes.com

Pincus is a Times correspondent.

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