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Lakers’ Jarred Vanderbilt & Christian Wood Updates for Game 3

Jarred Vanderbilt is close to a return for game three.

Lakers forwards Jarred Vanderbilt and Christian Wood have both been out since February. Wood dealt with several knee problems and has been sidelined since due to a knee ailment. Vanderbilt has been sidelined since then as well due to a sprained right mid-foot injury. Both have progressed significantly well and are on track to be available come Thursday’s game three against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers could very much use both Vanderbilt and Wood’s size and length to help on the defensive end.

Lakers’ Jarred Vanderbilt & Christian Wood Updates for Game 3

Vanderbilt Update

The 25-year-old forward who specializes in defense and rebounding, has not played since February 1st. Vanderbilt has missed extensive time throughout the regular season due to injuries and has only played a total of 29 games. As of recent, Vanderbilt has been ramping up his on and off-court workouts in the past several weeks.

Darvin Ham reported on Vanderbilt after his workout Monday morning,

“We’ll see how he responds to what he did today. And still, nothing is going to change in terms of new information. It’s just a day-by-day thing. And so we have to see how he tolerates the recovery process. He exerted himself at a pretty high level today. So we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. We’ll just keep going day by day”.

Later that night followed by, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reporting that Vanderbilt is targeting a return for Game 3 this Thursday.

The question is how healthy will Vanderbilt be if he is expected to return Thursday against the Nuggets. Most likely to be instilled with a minutes restriction, Vanderbilt will still provide a much-needed impact for the Lakers. His energy, on-court rebounding and defensive boost could be what the Lakers need. The Lakers have gotten dominated on both the offensive and defensive boards and could use the help in that aspect for Game 3.

Wood Update

Sources from Shams Charania from The Athletic, are reporting “Lakers F/C Christian Wood is planning to return to action in Game 3 vs. The Denver Nuggets on Thursday in LA”. Wood hasn’t played since mid-March into February while rehabbing from an arthroscopic knee surgery. Wood should be also limited to a time restriction on Thursday if he is expected to play. Across 50 regular season games this season, Wood averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game.

Although his numbers are down since joining the Lakers in the offseason, his impact is more impactful on the small details throughout each game. Especially, against the Denver Nuggets. Wood is important for this specific matchup. The Lakers can use his length and versatility to help on the rebounding and defensive end. With Wood back in the mix, we could possibly see Jaxson Hayes’s minutes being replaced. This can prevent coach Darvin Ham from having to play his small three-guard lineups. These seem to have been detrimental minutes for the Lakers when Anthony Davis is on the bench.

The Last Word

With positive updates and news regarding these reinforcements for the Lakers, we are to see on Thursday if they are to suit up in the purple and gold. The Lakers are in dire need of size and defensive reinforcements against this Denver Nuggets team. Severely getting out-rebounded offensively and defensively has been a critical part of the Lakers’ losses on Sunday and this past Monday. The return of these two could give Denver problems and the answer the Lakers need. With the Lakers facing off against the Nuggets for Game 3 on Thursday, the Lakers look forward to these two’s return and a much-needed win.



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