Lakers D'Angelo Russell Expected to Return from Ankle Injury vs Raptors

Francisco RosaMarch 9, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 23:  D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball against Donte DiVincenzo #0 of the Golden State Warriors in the first half at Crypto.com Arena on February 23, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.  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.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Reinforcements are on the way for the Los Angeles Lakers as guard D'Angelo Russell is expected to be back in action against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, according to head coach Darvin Ham.

Ham also said the expectation is for Russell to return to the starting lineup.

Russell, 27, has missed the last six games after spraining his right ankle against the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 23. He's played in just four games with the Lakers since being traded to the organization ahead of the deadline.

Albeit in a small sample size, Russell has been effective during his second stint in Los Angeles. The 2015 No. 2 pick averaged 17.3 points per game in the three full contests he's played with L.A. this year—Russell played just eight minutes against Golden State before injuring his ankle.

His return couldn't come at a better time as the team is already down superstar LeBron James, who is set to miss several weeks with a foot tendon injury he suffered in a recent game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Russell's shot-making ability will be a welcome sight for Anthony Davis and the rest of the team as L.A. looks to climb the Western Conference standings and solidify itself as a playoff team.

Los Angeles has done relatively well without James and Russell, going 3-2 sans the two stars. The team has moved into the No. 9 seed and is just two games out from potentially escaping the play-in tournament.