As we inch closer to the start of the NBA regular season, teams are hoping to make it through the preseason with no major injuries.
Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Lakers, one of their young players is reportedly set to miss the start of the year. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker will undergo surgery after suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb.
Horton-Tucker was held out of Sunday's preseason game against the Phoenix Suns.
Drafted out of Iowa State with the 46th pick of the 2019 draft, Horton-Tucker was a member of the Lakers' 2019-20 NBA championship team.
Entering his third year in the NBA, Horton-Tucker was expected to provide depth off the bench. He averaged 9.0 points in 20.1 minutes in 65 games last season and established himself as a regular rotational player.
Horton-Tucker's highlights from last season include recording career-highs of 18 points and 10 assists against the Golden State Warriors in March, and a game-winning three-pointer in an overtime win over the New York Knicks in May.
The Lakers are expected to be in contention for another NBA championship this season. The addition of former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook gives Los Angeles a strong "Big Three" with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Los Angeles also brought in a slew of veterans, including Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza and Rajon Rondo.
With Horton-Tucker missing time, it likely means more action for Los Angeles newcomers Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk. Monk led the team in scoring in its first two games, but he also missed Sunday's game against the Suns with a groin strain.