Lakers News: Jared Dudley Will Rehab Knee Injury, Avoid Surgery on Torn MCL

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 17, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley (10) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley will not seek surgery for his torn MCL, opting instead to rehab with the hopes of providing some minutes for the club during the playoffs, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Jared Dudley says he will not pursue surgery on his torn MCL, as it would keep him out 4-6 months. He says he will continue to rehab around the team. He hopes to be healthy by the playoffs, to provide spot minutes. In the meantime, he will continue to be a locker room presence.

Dudley's right knee was diagnosed with the tear Sunday, and it's unclear when he might be able to return. Surgery would require the 35-year-old to miss at least four months, a timeline the veteran was not comfortable with as Los Angeles attempts to defend its title.

Dudley has been used sparingly this season, averaging 0.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.5 assists over 6.9 minutes per night in 11 games this season.

More pressing for the Lakers is the lack of healthy big men the team can rely on.

Marc Gasol and Anthony Davis remain out, while Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris are considered day-to-day.

It's been a rough stretch for L.A. since Davis exited the lineup, having gone 4-6 over its last 10 games and now three games out of first place in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, respectively.

James recently mentioned he likes the Lakers' roster as is, but the current spate of injuries might require a bit of tinkering before the March 25 NBA trade deadline. With Dudley's timeline uncertain, keeping healthy bodies available down the stretch is now the team's top priority if it wasn't already.