Lakers' Kyle Kuzma Won't Play in FIBA World Championships with Ankle Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2019

MELBOURNE, AUS - AUGUST 22: Kyle Kuzma #21 of Team USA high-fives fans on the way to the court before the game against the Australia Boomers on August 22, 2019 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma will miss the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Team USA because of an ankle injury.

John Schuhmann of NBA.com reported the update Saturday.

Kuzma informed team officials his left ankle was sore ahead of the Americans' exhibition game against Australia on Saturday, so he was held out for "precautionary reasons," according to the Associated Press.

The Boomers scored a 98-94 upset victory over Team USA with the Lakers star unavailable.

Kuzma tallied 12 points on the strength of four three-pointers in Thursday's 102-86 win over the Aussies. His departure leaves the team's patchwork roster, which has been severely hurt by numerous superstars backing out in recent months, at 12 players.

The Boston Celtics tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should both see additional minutes to fill the void.

Kuzma averaged 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists across 70 appearances for the Lakers last season. He's expected to take on a key role behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis as L.A. looks to push toward championship contention during the 2019-20 campaign.

"I feel like I'm up for it," Kuzma told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times last week about being expected to shine for both the national team and the Lakers.

It doesn't sound like a serious injury, so it shouldn't impact his availability for the NBA season, but it's another setback for a Team USA squad already lacking star power.

Related

    Magic Hopes KD 'Finds Happiness' with Nets

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Magic Hopes KD 'Finds Happiness' with Nets

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Magic Defends Decision to Draft Lonzo

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Magic Defends Decision to Draft Lonzo

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Huge NBA Tampering Rule Changes 🚨

    NBA Board of Governors passes new package of tampering rules, including random audits to ensure compliance

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Huge NBA Tampering Rule Changes 🚨

    NBA Board of Governors passes new package of tampering rules, including random audits to ensure compliance

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    NBA Makes Changes to Traveling Rule, Starting Lineup Protocol

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    NBA Makes Changes to Traveling Rule, Starting Lineup Protocol

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report