Talen Horton-Tucker has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right thumb, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Sources tell Charania that the Lakers guard will undergo surgery to repair the ligament.
Horton-Tucker, who will turn 21 next month, emerged as a regular rotation player for the Lakers in 2020/21, averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.6 RPG on .458/.282/.775 shooting in 65 games (20.1 MPG). He signed a three-year contract worth nearly $31MM during the 2021 offseason, with the team making a big bet on his continued development.
While a recovery timeline for Horton-Tucker hasn’t been provided yet, it seems safe to assume he’ll be sidelined to open the regular season. Recovery from a thumb surgery is typically measured in weeks or months, not days.
It’s another blow to a Lakers team that will be missing Trevor Ariza (ankle) for several weeks to start the season. Head coach Frank Vogel said on Sunday that Malik Monk will also be out for “probably about a week” due to a strained groin, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link), so the Lakers’ backcourt and wing depth will be tested early. Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, and Kendrick Nunn could see increased roles.