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Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson injures shoulder, will have MRI exam Friday

Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, shown during a preseason game on Oct. 19, left Thursday night's game with a sprained right shoulder.

Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, shown during a preseason game on Oct. 19, left Thursday night’s game with a sprained right shoulder.

(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

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.

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“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.

When Scott was told the news by Vitti about Clarkson, the coach just shook his head and crossed his arms.

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.”

Etc.

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.

Twitter: @BA_Turner


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