Nick Young tears thumb ligament, will be out about eight weeks

Lakers forward Nick Young tosses a ball while taking part in a video shoot at the team's media day Monday.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Lakers guard Nick Young has a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be out about eight weeks.

Young was injured Thursday while tying to steal the ball from Kobe Bryant at practice.

His thumb swelled up overnight and an MRI exam Friday showed a tear. He will have surgery Monday.

A day earlier, Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Young would have a chance at being the NBA’s sixth man of the year.


And earlier Friday, when the team hoped Young’s injury was only a sprain, Scott wished for the best.

“Maybe I jinxed him, I don’t know,” Scott said. “I’m not going to say anything good about Nick Young for the rest of the year. Maybe that will keep him healthy for us.”

Young apparently smacked his thumb into Bryant’s elbow on the play.

“My answer to him was, ‘If you moved your feet you wouldn’t hurt your hand.’ And he just started laughing,” Scott said. “Hopefully it’s something that’s not long term.”

But it is long term. Not a good start for Young. Or the Lakers, who open the regular season Oct. 28 against Houston.

Young, 29, averaged a career-high 17.9 points last season while becoming a favorite of Lakers followers.

He signed a four-year, $21.5-million contract in July to stay with the team.