Lakers' Wayne Ellington awaits results of MRI exam on injured shoulder

Lakers' Wayne Ellington waiting on an MRI after suffering a seperated right shoulder against the Pelicans

The Lakers are waiting, yet again, for the results of an MRI after veteran guard Wayne Ellington suffered a mild separation of his right shoulder in the team's 113-92 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

"He was pretty sore this morning," Coach Byron Scott said Thursday. "I don't see him playing tomorrow."

The Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-26) on Friday night at Staples Center.

Injuries have defined the season for the Lakers (20-54), with long-term or season ending-injuries to Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (leg), Steve Nash (back), Xavier Henry (Achilles'), 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 passing 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 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."

Without Ellington, the Lakers would need to rely on heavy minutes from Jordan Clarkson, Jeremy Lin and Brown. If the hardship exception is granted, as expected, the franchise would be able to add an additional 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 10.0 points a game while shooting 41.2% from the field and 37.0% 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 joined the team on a one-year, nonguaranteed minimum contract at $1.1 million. He'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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