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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lakers News: Alex Caruso Diagnosed with Concussion After Leaving Game vs. Pacers

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) brings the ball up court in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah JazzWednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Alex Caruso has a mild concussion and has been placed in the league’s protocol, the team announced on Saturday night. 

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

Lakers say Alex Caruso has a mild concussion and is in the league’s protocols https://t.co/epqNuAtuyJ

Caruso accidentally collided with Indiana Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb on Friday and immediately grabbed his head. Though Caruso was able to walk off the floor under his own power, the Lakers held him out for the rest of the game for evaluation. 

L.A. won 105-100 against Indiana in its first game after the All-Star break.

The Lakers are already missing Marc Gasol (COVID-19 protocols) and Anthony Davis (calf strain). Losing Caruso for any amount of time only makes things tougher for LeBron James and Co. 

Caruso is averaging 5.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 19.5 minutes per night over the span of 30 games so far this year. Staying healthy has been a vital component to the Lakers’ title defense, as a historically short offseason has left head coach Frank Vogel with few options to keep his players fresh on a nightly basis. 

Now Vogel’s options are even more diminished—and for an indefinite period, as no timeline was provided for Caruso’s return. 

In the meantime, look for Vogel to dole out extra playing time to Wesley Matthews, Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker. 

At 25-13 and second in the Pacific Division, the Lakers have a bit of a cushion when it comes to their place in the postseason race, but the sooner the club can return to full strength, the better their chances at repeating their Finals victory becomes.   

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