Isaiah Thomas leaves Lakers to deal with troublesome hip injury

Isaiah Thomas was not with the Lakers during their game Monday night, leaving for New York to evaluate treatment options for his injured hip.

Thomas began feeling stiffness Saturday in Memphis and the Lakers declared him out for that game and Monday’s. It is unclear when Thomas will return to the team or if he is considering surgery.

The point guard suffered a torn labrum in his right hip on March 15, 2017 when he was playing for Boston. Thomas opted not to have surgery and played for two months with the injury, helping the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals before being shut down for the final three games.

The Celtics traded Thomas to the Cavaliers in August and he played in only 15 games for Cleveland after missing the first 2½ months as he recovered from the injury. The hip has continued to bother Thomas, who often grimaced when he landed on it during games.

Thomas has averaged 15.6 points in 26.8 minutes for the Lakers, playing slightly better than he did in Cleveland but still a far cry from last season, when he finished fifth in voting for the most valuable player award.


He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and has said he’s open to returning to the Lakers, even if he continues in a reserve role.

Ingram progressing

The Lakers did not have a full practice Sunday but did some optional work. Brandon Ingram was cleared for contact and participated in a two-on-two drill.

“We’re going to do that again tomorrow when we get into L.A. with him,” Coach Luke Walton said. “We’d like to have got more bodies out there with him, but that’s kind of the amount of healthy guys we had. So if all goes well and he continues to feel better, then we’ll do that again tomorrow, hopefully get it up to three on three, maybe go up to some full-court stuff and then see how that goes.”

Ingram suffered a groin strain March 1 when Miami’s Justise Winslow kneed him on a hard foul during the fourth quarter. Walton said he hopes Ingram, who missed his 12th straight game, will be ready to play Wednesday against Dallas.


Channing Frye played for the first time since getting an appendectomy during the All-Star break. Frye played seven minutes and scored four points in the Lakers’ 112-106 loss, making both of his field goal attempts. … The Lakers brought Gary Payton II back from South Bay, their developmental affiliate. Payton played three scoreless minutes. … Kyle Kuzma visited his family, back home for the first time since before the draft. Kuzma grew up in Flint, Mich., about 70 miles from Detroit.

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli