The Lakers announced Thursday that reserve guard Nick Young will miss at least two weeks with a left knee injury.
An MRI revealed that Young sustained a non-displaced fracture of his left patella and a bone bruise during L.A.'s 119-108 road victory over Cleveland. A two-week recovery period will sideline Young for at least the next five games, and his return won't come until after the upcoming All-Star break.
Update: The injury occurred just before halftime. With the Lakers leading 65-44, Young attacked the hoop from the right wing in transition. Cavaliers forward C.J. Miles wrapped him up to prevent a shot, and the two players appeared to bang knees as they moved together towards the stanchion. Young came up in pain and seen attempting to keep the pressure off his left knee. Here's a look at the video.
Young remained in the game and went down for a second time a few minutes later. With the Lakers leading 68-47, Young attacked the paint from the left angle. Rising to attempt a lay-up in traffic, Young appeared to make contact with Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson on his way up, and Young went crashing to the court in pain. Although he remained on the court to shoot his free throws, Young did not return to the game after halftime, finishing with six points (on 1-for-5 shooting), four rebounds and four assists in 18 minutes.
The second incident can be seen at the 1:30 mark of the following video.
Young, 28, is averaging 16.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28.8 minutes per game off the Lakers' bench. Although he's an eager shooter before anything else, Young has improved L.A.'s offensive efficiency from 97.4 when he's off the court to 104.1 when he's on the court, marking one of the Lakers' biggest impacts on that end.
His loss is clearly rough news for the Lakers, who have been beset by a seemingly never-ending series of injuries all season long. In fact, L.A. triumphed over Cleveland despite having only four eligible players during the game's closing minutes. A rarely-invoked technical foul rule allowed Robert Sacre to remain in the game after he received his sixth personal foul because the Lakers had no other available players on their bench. Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (groin), Jodie Meeks (ankle), Jordan Hill (neck) and Xavier Henry (knee) were all out injured, and Steve Nash (back/nerves) was given the night off for rest. Jordan Farmar also left the game with a leg cramp.
The Lakers (17-32) had one open roster spot after parting ways with guard Manny Harris earlier this week, and they wisely used it to sign forward Shawne Williams to a 10-day contract as a short-term replacement. On the (somewhat) bright side, Nash, Farmar and Steve Blake all recently returned from longer-term injuries, so coach Mike D'Antoni should have something that resembles a rotation when L.A. visits Philadelphia on Friday, even if he will be without Young's scoring punch. Wesley Johnson played 41 minutes against the Cavaliers, and he surely will be given all the minutes he can handle as Young's absence further decimates L.A.'s wing corps.
Williams, 27, averaged 5.2 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Lakers in 32 games before he was released in January prior to his contract guarantee date. Top video via YouTube user NBAshowtimeHD8 | Bottom video via YouTube user NBALakersNation