Kyle Kuzma Won't Return vs. Timberwolves After Suffering Ankle Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 9, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma left Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center after suffering a mild left ankle sprain, the team announced

Kuzma missed a game in November as the result of back spasms and a game in the middle of March due to an ankle injury. Otherwise, he's managed to stay healthy during his first year in the league.

The No. 27 overall pick has enjoyed a nice rookie campaign, averaging 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. 

Kuzma appeared to hit a midseason wall, as he shot just 40 percent from the floor in January and February combined. However, the 22-year-old bounced back by having arguably the best month of his young career, averaging 18.7 points on 48.0 percent shooting from the floor and 38.7 percent from beyond the arc in March. 

Los Angeles needs to keep the big picture in mind with Kuzma's injury. Sure, it'd be nice to get the rookie as much experience as possible over the final three games so he can enter the offseason with some momentum. However, the top priority needs to be making sure he is as healthy as possible going into next season.