Roy Hibbert visits doctor after tweaking knee, no MRI exam needed

Rudy Gobert, Roy Hibbert

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends Los Angeles Lakers center Roy Hibbert (17) during the third quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game in Honolulu. 

(Marco Garcia / Associated Press)

Lakers center Roy Hibbert sat out practice Monday, visiting with team doctors because of a sore right knee.

“He just said he tweaked it a little bit,” Coach Byron Scott said. “We didn’t do X-rays or [an] MRI; he says he feels fine, just a little swelling in there. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

According to the team’s game notes, Hibbert is questionable for Tuesday night’s exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas.

“He just said to me about five minutes ago that he’ll be ready to go tomorrow. So we’ll see,” Scott said.

On Sunday, Hibbert played just under 23 minutes against Israeli team Maccabi Haifa, scoring eight points with 16 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots in the Lakers’ 126-83 win.

Through training camp and preseason, the veteran center has become the team’s leader defensively and a mentor to young players such as Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr.

“He makes it very easy,” Randle said of Hibbert’s ability to protect the basket. “We have to be careful. We can’t be lazy on defense just because we have big Roy back there.”

Behind Hibbert, the Lakers have Tarik Black, Robert Sacre and Robert Upshaw at center, although one is likely to be cut before the start of the regular season. Veteran forward Brandon Bass will also see time at the position when the Lakers go with a smaller lineup.

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