Injury Notes: Smart, Kennard, Smith, LeBron, Zion, Suns

The Grizzlies are aiming to get some 5-on-5 work in for Marcus Smart this weekend, head coach Taylor Jenkins said on Wednesday (Twitter link via Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal). Jenkins added that Luke Kennard is “probably a step behind” Smart in the recovery process, per Cole.

Smart was diagnosed with a left foot sprain on November 17 and was expected to miss three-to-five weeks. He’s four weeks into that process now, and could be nearing a return. Kennard, meanwhile, has been dealing with a left knee bone bruise. Almost two weeks ago, the Grizzlies said he was expected to be back in two-to-three weeks.

Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • Pacers big man Jalen Smith (left knee bone bruise) has begun on-court work, head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters, including Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). It’s possible within the next week to 10 days we could see him in a game,” Carlisle said. Smith is averaging 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 70.7% from the field through 14 games (15.4 MPG).
  • Lakers star LeBron James was held out of Wednesday’s back-to-back in San Antonio after playing 40 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to Dallas, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The Lakers said James, who was initially listed as questionable, was dealing with left calf soreness, but it doesn’t sound like anything serious, as he was interacting with teammates on the sidelines throughout the contest.
  • Pelicans forward Zion Williamson missed Wednesday’s win over Washington with left ankle soreness, but it should be a short-term injury, according to Christian Clark of “His ankle is getting better,” head coach Willie Green said. ” ... His ankle is fine. Day to day.” Williamson sustained the injury late in Monday’s game, Clark notes.
  • Suns wing Josh Okogie sustained a right hip injury and was sidelined for Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn, per Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports (Twitter link). It’s unclear how long Okogie might be sidelined. Guard Eric Gordon also missed the game with a calf injury. On a more positive note for Phoenix, fellow wing Nassir Little returned to the lineup after clearing the NBA’s concussion protocol, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Little wore a black face mask during the contest, as he sustained an orbital fracture last Friday against Sacramento. Surprisingly, Little only missed one full game and most of another with the injury.
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