Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram will miss the rest of the season after being diagnosed with a deep venous thrombosis in his right arm, the team announced Saturday.
Ingram has missed the Lakers’ past two games after he reported shoulder pain following a morning shootaround last Monday. Lakers coach Luke Walton said earlier this week that Ingram had pain whenever he attempted to lift his arm.
A deep venous thrombosis is a condition caused by a blood clot, frequently accompanied by swelling and pain in a limb. The condition usually occurs in legs, but can occur in the upper body.
Walton did nothing to quell Lakers fans’ concerns about the seriousness of the 21-year-old Ingram’s health problem when he pointedly refused to provide any details while speaking to reporters before Los Angeles’ home game against Boston.
"We’ve released what he’s got going on, but I’m not going to get into all the details," Walton said. "I’m just finding out a lot of it myself. All I’m going to say on him right now is that he’s out for the rest of the season."
Walton said he spoke to the Lakers about Ingram’s condition, and LeBron James said Ingram was with the Lakers earlier in the day before they played without three injured starters in a 120-107 loss to the Celtics.
"He’s pretty upbeat under the circumstances, obviously," James said of the former No. 2 overall draft pick. "It was good to see him in here today, and we wish him a speedy and healthy recovery."
Blood clots have affected several prominent athletes including Chris Bosh and Serena Williams in recent years. Bosh eventually retired due to blood clotting issues, but many other athletes have continued to compete.
James was Bosh’s longtime teammate in Miami. He remembers the initial days around Bosh’s diagnosis as "uncertainty."
"Why me? You know, how do you tackle this? What’s next? There’s a lot of things that go through your head," James added. "You take the necessary steps to getting back to being healthy, and that’s what’s the most important."
Ingram is averaging a career-best 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds along with 3.0 assists, and the lanky swingman’s chemistry with James has improved markedly over the course of the season despite several weeks of trade rumours linking Ingram and the rest of the Lakers’ top young players to a deal for New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis. Ingram particularly excelled after the All-Star break and the trade deadline, averaging 27.8 points in his six most recent games.
But injuries have played a major role in preventing the Lakers from developing any consistency during James’ first season alongside their young core.
Los Angeles might be without Lonzo Ball for the rest of the season due to a sprained ankle. Ball hasn’t played since Jan. 19, and the Lakers announced after Saturday’s game that Ball will miss at least two more weeks before another evaluation by their medical staff.
Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers’ second-leading scorer with 18.8 points per game, also has missed two games with a sprained ankle.
The Lakers are 15-8 with James, Ball and Ingram all in their lineup, but they’ve largely struggled whenever one of the trio is out.
The Lakers (30-36) fell into 11th place in the Western Conference with their fifth straight loss against Boston.
They trail San Antonio by 7 games for the final playoff spot .Los Angeles will almost certainly miss the playoffs for a franchise-record sixth straight season, and James likely will stay home for the first time since 2005.\