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Julius Randle Injury: Updates on Lakers F's Leg and Recovery

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Lakers' Julius Randle watches from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Thursday, March 19, 2015, in Los Angeles. The Jazz 80-73. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Julius Randle is aiming for the NBA's Summer League for a competitive return to the floor.

Continue for updates.    


Randle Eyes NBA's Summer League for Return

Tuesday, April 14

Randle spoke about his goal for a return in his exit interview:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Randle's short-term goal is to play in Summer League, but his primary objective is simply to be 100% for training camp in October.

"I feel great," Randle said, per the Lakers' Twitter feed. "I have my (daily) regimen. Starting to ramp it up a little bit."

Randle, 20, missed almost the entire 2014-15 season after suffering a broken leg in the Lakers' season opener. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Randle's absence was just one of many setbacks in a lost Los Angeles campaign.

Randle, Kobe Bryant, the now-retired Steve Nash and nearly every other veteran player missed time with injury. The Lakers are 21-60 heading into Wednesday night's season-ending game against Sacramento—the NBA's fourth-worst record and a worst-ever in franchise history. Randle said sitting on the bench allowed him to absorb more of the game mentally, per Mike Trudell of Time Warner Cable Sports:

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Julius Randle on the season: "Even though I didn't get to play, it was still a huge learning curve/process and I got a lot out of it."

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

There's no question that Julius Randle has grown mentally this season. He's spent a great deal of time watching film, thinking the game.

Viewed as one of the most NBA-ready players in last year's draft, Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his lone season at Kentucky. He's slotted in as the team's power forward of the future. Veterans Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis filled those roles in Randle's stead, but both can become free agents this summer.

As for who's been helping him stay mentally prepared, Randle credited two All-Stars going through their own injury issues, per Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News and Trudell:

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Randle has kept in close contact w/Paul George, who just returned from a broken leg. George has been very helpful/encouraging to Julius.

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Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Randle credited Kobe for helping with his confidence when he constantly checked in with him during rehab

Bryant, 36, was limited to 35 games this season due to a shoulder injury. George returned earlier this month from his own broken leg, suffered during a Team USA scrimmage last summer in Las Vegas. He's played right around 15 minutes in four games since returning and might be an interesting benchmark for Randle when he returns.   

Whether that's this summer or in October remains to be seen.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter 

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