Lakers News: Jared Dudley's Knee Injury Diagnosed as Torn MCL

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley during an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley suffered a torn right MCL and a right knee contusion.

The Lakers said Sunday it's unclear when the 35-year-old will return since he has yet to decide on his next course of action.

Dudley has logged a total of 76 minutes in 11 appearances this season. He's averaging 0.5 points and 1.7 rebounds. He played a season-high 14:17 in the team's 123-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings on March 3.

A calf injury sidelined Dudley for an extended stretch earlier in the year.

On its own, his absence this time around wouldn't be a big problem for the reigning NBA champions. He averaged a career-low 8.1 minutes per game in 2019-20, providing a far bigger impact away from the court.

But the Lakers are already without Marc Gasol, who's out due to the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, while Anthony Davis won't be back for at least another two weeks while he deals with an Achilles injury.

Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris are still available to head coach Frank Vogel at the 4. But Dudley's knee injuries put further strain on Los Angeles' frontcourt depth.

That the Lakers haven't already ruled him out for the remainder of the season seems to at least leave open the possibility of him returning at some point.