Lakers 'Hopeful' Dennis Schroder Will Play in Final 2 Regular-Season Games

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMay 10, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) controls the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder could return before the postseason, head coach Frank Vogel told reporters Sunday. 

Schroder has been in the league's health and safety protocols since May 2. 

"We’re really still hopeful that he can return for the final two games—or one of those final two games—to get a little bit of run before we enter playoff play," Vogel said. "And he’s limited, obviously, with what he can do from a conditioning standpoint but just trying to make the best of it." 

After Sunday's game against the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers have four games left in the season via a pair of back-to-backs—Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Schroder, who also missed time while in the health and safety protocols in February, was originally given a 10-to-14-day timeframe for recovery. He has missed five games so far this time around.

Through 59 games this season, he averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, the latter figure being a career-high. 

The 27-year-old, who joined the defending champions via trade with Oklahoma City in November, spoke out about the health and safety protocols when he was sidelined earlier this season, saying he did not test positive for COVID-19 and thought he shouldn't have been out. 

"The situation is what it is. But the NBA, I think, got to do better,” he told reporters. "I think for sure they need to do better. I mean, I tested negative the whole time. I never had positive. They got to figure that out, for sure."

Per Vogel, Schroder has been "engaged" with the team in his latest stint on the sidelines. 

The Lakers are still without LeBron James, who is out again after a brief return from a right ankle sprain. With the loss of James coming on the tail end of Anthony Davis' absence, Schroder has been an integral part of a Lakers group that is readying to lock up a postseason spot.