Lakers’ Thomas Bryant out at least 3 weeks after thumb surgery – Orange County Register

SAN FRANCISCO — In two days, the Lakers are two thumbs down.

On Tuesday afternoon, the team revealed that center Thomas Bryant, one of their off-season acquisitions, will miss three to four weeks after undergoing ulnar collateral ligament surgery on his left thumb – the same procedure as the guard veteran Dennis Schröder suffered on his right thumb on Monday. .

Coach Darvin Ham said the team was unable to determine exactly when Bryant was injured.

“He came in, it bothered him,” he said. “And the way he plays, placing screens, diving on the floor, kind of a big rumble, really providing a physicality, it could have happened anywhere.”

It hasn’t been a good start for the Lakers injury-wise: they lost Bryant and Schröder, two players they thought would be off the bench, at least until next month. Others, including Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Lonnie Walker IV have faced nagging injuries.

The immediate effect of Bryant’s injury is to lock the Lakers into a small-ball style of play for the foreseeable future. Davis started Tuesday night’s season opener against Golden State at center, and Wenyen Gabriel (somewhat surprisingly not Damian Jones) served as his first substitute. The Lakers experimented with small-ball lineups throughout the preseason, with Ham hinting that he was considering these groups heavily in part to help expand the floor.

But Ham also said he doesn’t want to lock himself into any particular starting line-up.

“It’s the start of the season, the first game, we’re just in the starting blocks for this marathon,” he said. “So we’ll go back after tonight’s game and see how things progress one day at a time.”

MATT RYAN hopes he can stick

Friday night was tough for Matt Ryan. The 25-year-old could barely sleep.

He knew that Saturday afternoon he would know if he had been waived by the Lakers. His last pre-season appearance wasn’t particularly memorable: the sharpshooter was just 2 of 8 from the field for six points.

“Every game I thought might be my last,” Ryan told the Southern California News Group. “I was just praying that I had done enough in the last few weeks in training camp, in training, in pre-season, getting along with everyone.”

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