After leaving Tuesday night’s game against the Pelicans with what was initially called an Achilles injury, Lakers guard Nick Young has been diagnosed with a strained calf muscle in his right leg, the team announced today in a press release. According to the Lakers, Young is expected to be sidelined for approximately two to four weeks, putting him on track to potentially return in late December.
Young, 31, was widely viewed as a candidate to be traded or even released during the offseason, but the Lakers kept him on the roster and he has started all 18 games he’s played for the club so far this season. While Young may still end up on the trade block prior to February’s deadline, he has been a key part of the Lakers’ early-season success, averaging 13.3 PPG on a career-high .458 FG%.
In Young’s absence, the Lakers figure to turn to players like Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams for larger roles. With D’Angelo Russell also out of action for at least another week, the Lakers will be a little shorthanded in the backcourt for their next few games. However, with neither Young nor Russell expected to be sidelined into the new year, a roster move likely won’t be necessary.