Confirming that versatile center Mo Bamba is nearing his return to the court after suffering an ankle injury in early March, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha specifies on The Late Night Lake Show that the time span between the end of this week and the Los Angeles Lakers‘ first game of the postseason as the stretch when Bamba will be cleared to play.
On the latest episode of LNLS with @jovanbuha provides a positive Mo Bamba Injury Update:
“Mo [Bamba] is supposed to be reevaluated this week. I would not be surprised if he’s back by the end of the week.” #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/kQxT8ij9PD
— Late Night Lake Show (@LateNightLakers) April 4, 2023
“I suspect tomorrow in Utah we will get an update from [Lakers head coach] Darvin Ham with some more clarity,” Buha says.
“Now, the Lakers have four games remaining in the regular season. I think they ideally, they would like to have their whole group for those four games — or at least two or three of them — to close out the regular season and going into either the play-in or postseason with everybody whole.”
In the seven games that he’s played for the Lakers, Bamba has averaged just 4.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks per game while shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point range. However, this is in part because Bamba hasn’t had a consistent role since joining L.A., playing 11 or more minutes in three contests and 6 or fewer minutes in the remaining four.
To that point, Buha cautions that the Lakers may choose to look for Wenyen Gabriel to man the backup center position, despite skills that Bamba offers as a floor-spacer and interior defender.
Nonetheless, given the nature of the playoffs and the constant tweaks that happen in-game, pre-game, and post-game, Bamba may still hear his name called.
Whether it’s for a 3, to pull a big man out of the paint, or just to get a stop, he’ll have to be ready.
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