Nick Young walked around the Lakers' locker room after Tuesday night's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, unaided, and joked with teammates as he normally would. He declined to speak with reporters until he knew more about the right Achilles' tendon injury that he suffered within the first two minutes of the game.
Young left the arena wearing a boot on his right foot, but did not use crutches. The Lakers said he suffered a strain, the severity of which will be determined on Wednesday when he has an MRI exam in Chicago. The Lakers play the Bulls on Wednesday night.
Jimmy Butler put on a show against the Lakers in their last meeting at Staples Center, scoring 40 points, but the Lakers still had a chance to win the game. They lost 118-110. Armed with that takeaway from their last meeting, the Lakers will try to even the season series. They'll be without point guard D'Angelo Russell and could be without shooting guard Young.
"It'll be tough," Lakers Coach Luke Walton said of the possibility of losing Young for some time. "Without breaking up that second unit, the filling in the shooting guard spot while D'Angelo is already hurt, we'll have to get creative on what we'll do there."
This is the second injury Young has had in a week. Last Tuesday, Young sprained the second toe on his left foot against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played the next day at Golden State, but missed the Lakers' Friday game against the Warriors after the injury was aggravated.
Just 19 games into the season, the Lakers have had four starters miss games with injuries. Center Timofey Mozgov missed one game with a left eye contusion during the Lakers' first trip of the season.
Julius Randle returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing three games with a hip pointer that involved a bone bruise and a muscle that was causing spasms and sharp pain in his side.
Randle was slow to rise after a play early in the game, but said that was a knee issue and had nothing to do with his hip pointer. He went on to notch a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.Russell, who is on the four-game trip, will miss at least another week with a left knee injury that has sidelined him for five games.
Russell had a platelet-rich plasma injection last Wednesday. The minimally invasive procedure involves drawing a person's blood, spinning it to concentrate the platelets and then re-injecting it into the injured area.
Crash affects Huertas
Marcelo Huertas, the lone Brazilian on the Lakers' roster, learned in horror on Monday night that a plane carrying members of a Brazilian soccer team crashed in Colombia, killing 75 of the 81 people on board. "You always know someone that knows the players that were there, the family, the people that worked with the team," Huertas said. "It's something you can't control, the only thing you can do is try to pray and help somehow the families that are going to be grieving their losses."
The soccer team, Chapecoense, was on its way to the final of an international South American tournament.
His kind of town
In Chicago, Lakers forward Luol Deng will return to a city that has a special meaning to him.
Twelve years ago, the Bulls essentially drafted Deng seventh overall. The Phoenix Suns made the pick, then made a previously agreed-upon trade that sent Deng to Chicago.
"The people that work at the arena, that helped me since I was a kid," Deng said. "The people within the organization that helped me settle, helped me find a place. It's always good to see. In basketball when I get to the arena, basketball is all I'm thinking of, but it's always great memories to be there."
When: 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: United Center.
On the air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.
Records: Lakers 9-10, Bulls 10-6.
Record vs. Bulls: 0-1
11 p.m.: This article was updated with details about the Lakers' last meetup with the Bulls.