Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson injures shoulder, will have MRI exam Friday
Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson suffered a sprained right shoulder in the second quarter of Thursday night’s exhibition against the Golden State Warriors and didn’t return to the game.
Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Clarkson will get an MRI test Friday to determine the severity of the injury and that he was “absolutely” concerned about his second-year guard being available to play Wednesday night in the regular-season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.
But Clarkson said that there was “no doubt” that he’d be able to play.
Lakers guard Marcelo Huertas looks to pass as three Warriors defenders converge on him in a preseason game at Honda Center on Thursday night.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell pulls on his warmup shirt as he sits on the bench with teammate Anthony Brown during an Oct. 22 exhibition game against the Golden State Warriors at Honda Center in Anaheim.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers forward Metta World Peace works in the post against the Warriors during the fourth quarter of an exhibition game at Honda Center on Oct. 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Warriors guard Andre Iguodala is fouled by Lakers guard Anthony Brown during the second half of a preseason game at Honda Center.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers center Roy Hibbert tries to shoot over Warriors center Marreese Speights, who grabs his jersey, in the first half of a preseason game Thursday.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Warriors forward Draymond Green steals the ball from Lakers forward Brandon Bass during the first half of a preseason game at Honda Center.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Warriors forward James Michael McAdoo challenges Lakers forward Brandon Bass as he tries to shoot in the first half of a preseason game at Honda Center.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell uses a screen by center Roy Hibbert to drive past Warriors guard Stephen Curry in the first half of a preseason game Oct. 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
“It was like a real sharp pain,” Clarkson said after the Lakers’ 136-97 loss to the Warriors at the Honda Center in both team’s final exhibition. “I think it’s minor. I guess we’ll just see tomorrow. It was just a sharp pain. That’s all I can tell you.
“I shot a runner in the lane and felt the pain. I still don’t know when it happened.”
Clarkson said he told trainer Gary Vitti about the pain and that Vitti told him it was best to be “precautionary.”
“My arm, it felt numb for a second,” Clarkson said. “I came to the bench and coach got me right out. I just told them it just felt numb.”
Clarkson said he first began to have problems with his shoulder after the Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
“But it was nothing serious,” he said.
The Lakers were already playing without guard Kobe Bryant, who sat out because of a bruised lower left leg.
Clarkson was a bright spot for the Lakers last season, earning All-NBA rookie first-team honors after averaging 11.9 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 59 games, 38 as a starter.
Clarkson had started all eight exhibitions for the Lakers and had been penciled in as the starter for Wednesday night.
“It’s pretty frustrating because that kid has done so well for us in the preseason,” Scott said. “He’s played so hard, and obviously even with this, he has a very bright future. But obviously it puts a damper on the way we want to start the season. It might be without him next Wednesday.”
Bryant, meanwhile, told Scott that he was “gearing up” for the opener after sitting out the last three exhibitions.
“And I said, ‘Good, because that’s what I’m gearing up for as well,’” Scott said. “So, yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind and I’m pretty sure it’ll take a whole lot to keep him out of that game.”
Scott said he’ll wait until after the next few days of practice before he and General Manager Mitch Kupchak make their final cuts. The Lakers, who have 17 players on their roster, have to get down to the league maximum 15 by Monday.
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