Jordan Hill Injury: Updates on Lakers Forward's Cervical and Return

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2014

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14:  Jordan Hill #27 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena on December 14, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Updates from Wednesday, Feb. 8

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports that Jordan Hill will not play tonight:

Lakers PR just confirmed that Jordan Hill is out tonight. As such, LAL have just eight healthy bodies available tonight.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 5, 2014

Original Text:

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill exited Tuesday, Feb. 4's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a headache and a cervical strain.

Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding reported on Hill's injury and noted that the big man would not return to the contest at the Target Center:

Hill has taken a backseat to stretch 4 rookie Ryan Kelly, who has been in the starting lineup as of late for the reeling Lakers due to his outside shooting touch. That's a more ideal fit in the uptempo offense run by head coach Mike D'Antoni.

As a former first-round pick, the 26-year-old Hill hasn't quite lived up to that billing, but he is second on the team in averaging 7.3 rebounds per contest—despite only seeing 19.7 minutes of action each night.

No matter what role Hill plays, it likely won't help L.A.'s cause as the squad has sunk toward the bottom of the Western Conference without superstar Kobe Bryant in the lineup for much of the 2013-14 campaign.

Lakers.com's Mike Trudell noted how Steve Nash and Steve Blake came back from injuries for Tuesday's game, but the team has already lost both Hill and guard Jodie Meeks:

Hopefully Hill returns to the hardwood soon, because the Lakers have endured a ton of health issues this season. It would be interesting to see what they could do at full strength and whether they'd still be competitive in the difficult West.