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Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma ruled out for season opener

Kyle Kuzma joins his teammates during warmups before a game in China on Oct. 12, 2019.
Kyle Kuzma joins his teammates during warmups before a game in China on Oct. 12, 2019.
(Zhong Zhi / Getty Images)

The Lakers have ruled out Kyle Kuzma for Tuesday’s season-opening game against the Clippers as he recovers from a stress reaction in his left foot.

Kuzma sustained the injury during the summer while he was with Team USA in Australia. He was cleared to do noncontact practices after the Lakers returned from China last Sunday. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he wants to see Kuzma do some more work before playing.

“Right now we’re just talking about ramping up his activity and we’re not going to look past two days from now,” Vogel said. “We’re going to try to increase his workload and activities this week and we’ll see where we’re at.”

Vogel said the next step could mean adding full-court work with sprinting, or half-court work with contact. The staff has yet to decide exactly what would be best.

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Kuzma is in his third NBA season after being drafted out of Utah in 2017. The Lakers refused to trade him this summer when they acquired Anthony Davis from New Orleans, and Kuzma is now the only player drafted by the Lakers before 2019 to remain on the team.

Vogel anticipates Kuzma joining a lineup that features Anthony Davis at center along with LeBron James in the frontcourt.

“He’s probably our third-best player, so to add him to the mix, we can go a lot of different directions,” Vogel said. “It probably gets more enticing to play Anthony at the 5 with Kuz out there and LeBron and a couple guards. But our 5s have been great. So, we’ll have what we like to call good problems when he’s back to full activity.”

Who wins new fight for L.A. might be main question this season, but others include who will be next star to get traded and if Lakers are in playoffs, who is out?

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