Lakers Lose Julius Randle to Broken Leg
The Los Angelers Lakers just can’t stay healthy. After losing Steve Nash for the year and just getting Kobe Bryant back to full strength, the team took yet another hit on Tuesday night when rookie big man Julius Randle suffered a broken leg.
Randle has been officially diagnosed with a broken right tibia, which he suffered on a drive to the basket late in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ season-opening loss to the Houston Rockets.
Teammates said they heard a “pop” when Randle went down and head coach Byron Scott called the injury “heartbreaking”.
Even worse, is Randle is likely going to be lost for the entire season. Reports suggest the rook could go under the knife for surgery as soon as Wednesday, while his prognosis to return this year doesn’t sound good.
Randle saw the court for just 13 minutes in his first professional regular season game, hitting one of three shots for two points, while also committing a turnover.
While Randle probably had a ways to go before he was a major impact player for the Lake Show, there was hope that such a talented and versatile player could do just that at some point later in the year. Unfortunately, the Lakers will simply have to move on without him.
The injury locks in Carlos Boozer as the full-time starter at the power forward position going forward. Boozer could have potentially faced competition from Randle at some point this year, but now it’s his job alone and should make for plenty of minutes.
Ed Davis will be asked to step up in lieu of the injury, while the Lakers should also incorporate versatile big man Ryan Kelly to a certain degree once he returns from a minor injury.
Los Angeles was already shaping up as one of the worst teams in the league, as they simply don’t have the talent, outside shooting or general depth to compete at a high level in such a competitive Western Conference. Naturally, such a big loss hurts their chances even more of sneaking into the West’s 8th and final playoff spot.
Randle also could have stood a chance to win Rookie of the Year honors. With him out, that title probably is Jabari Parker’s to lose.
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