Jordan Clarkson Injury: Updates on Lakers Guard's Shoulder and Return

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured Columnist

Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Clarkson walks on the court during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jordan Clarkson suffered a right shoulder injury in the second quarter of the team's preseason game against the Golden State Warriors but is expected to be ready for Wednesday's season opener.

Continue for updates.

Latest on Clarkson's Playing Status for Opener

Saturday, Oct. 24

Mike Trudell of NBA.com reported Clarkson practiced in full on Tuesday and is expected to start the season opener versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.

MRI Provides Encouraging News on Clarkson's Shoulder

Friday, Oct. 23

An MRI didn't show anything wrong in Clarkson's shoulder, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

How Clarkson's Injury Impacts Lakers

Clarkson had seen starting time at the shooting guard position during the preseason as he looked to continue carving out a significant role on a new-look Lakers team. 

The 23-year-old was one of the lone bright spots for a Lakers team that won just 21 games last season, as he averaged 11.9 points per game in 25.0 minutes per night on his way to NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. 

He's shown the right mindset while playing in a big market like Los Angeles, too, as demonstrated when he spoke with Bresnahan: "I can be quiet and not in the way and then make noise on the court. That's what my plan is. ... I come here and work hard and try to win games. I don't get into everything else."

Clarkson has exhibited his athleticism during the preseason, recording double-digit-scoring nights in six of his first seven games prior to Thursday. He was scoring in style as well, per ESPN's Baxter Holmes:

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Baxter Holmes @Baxter

Nasty Jordan Clarkson put-back slam (via @hmfaigen): https://t.co/QUJZ67Z48y #lakers

While a timetable for a return has not been disclosed, the Lakers are facing the early part of the regular season without Clarkson, who would probably be coming off the bench for rookie D'Angelo Russell at point guard or for veteran Kobe Bryant at the 2. 

His time away from the court could mean more for veteran Lou Williams, who has proved over his 10-year career he is an effective scorer off the bench with an average of 11.9 points per game. He should be able to keep the Lakers' depth concerns limited while Clarkson recovers. 

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.


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