The Los Angeles Lakers have been decimated by injuries recently, and another key player is dealing with a potential setback.
Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook told reporters after Monday's loss to the Denver Nuggets that he suffered a dislocated pinky finger, though the X-ray he received came back negative. He had reset the finger twice during the game.
Westbrook had a team-high 25 points off the bench in Monday's 122-109 loss, which snapped a five-game win streak for Los Angeles and dropped its record to 19-22. In addition to his injury, the Lakers lost veteran point guard Patrick Beverley, who played just 12 minutes because of a hip injury.
Los Angeles was already without star forward LeBron James because of a sore left ankle. Troy Brown Jr. (strained left quadriceps), Austin Reaves (strained hamstring strain) and Lonnie Walker IV (knee tendinitis) also sat out. The Lakers have also been dealing with the absence of star big man Anthony Davis, who is recovering from a stress reaction in his foot.
While it's unclear if Westbrook will be forced to miss time, Los Angeles can't afford to be without another contributor. The team faces the possibility of falling behind in the race for a play-in tournament berth and needs its stars to be available.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they will be returning to Los Angeles to begin a five-game homestand starting with Thursday's matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.