Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma expected to play Friday despite sustaining eye abrasion

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma winces in pain after suffering an eye injury.
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma winces in pain after suffering an eye injury during a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Kyle Kuzma is expected to play for the Lakers against Oklahoma City on Friday despite sustaining an abrasion to his right eye in Tuesday’s win over the Thunder, the Lakers said.

Kuzma sustained the injury when Thunder forward Darius Bazley inadvertently elbowed him in his eye during the second quarter. Kuzma had to leave the court because he was bleeding. He returned after halftime and watched the rest of the game from the bench. Although Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Kuzma was cleared by the medical staff, he didn’t play him the rest of the game.

“I used my better judgement,” Vogel said. “It didn’t look good. I just felt like, [unless] we absolutely needed him, let’s let the other guys handle the rest of this game.”

Lakers’ LeBron James becomes the first player in NBA history to record a triple double against every team in the league in the team’s 112-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Kuzma underwent additional testing on Wednesday, the team said. The Lakers said he is expected to practice Thursday ahead of Friday’s game.

The third-year forward is averaging 13.1 points per game after coming back from a foot injury that kept him out the entire preseason and the start of the regular season.