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Lakers Forward Jarred Vanderbilt Nearing Return

With Vanderbilt, the Lakers Are Set to Receive a Defensive Boost to End the Season

Defensive Bulldog

The Los Angeles Lakers have been banged up with several key injuries this season but could be getting healthy in time for a late-season run. One player who has missed a lot of time is Jarred Vanderbilt, who suffered a foot sprain vs. the Boston Celtics on Feb. 1. Overall, he’s missed 45 NBA games this season.


Lakers Forward Jarred Vanderbilt Nearing Return
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Dallas Mavericks | Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP


Fortunately for the Lakers, it appears he’s nearing his return, according to NBA news from The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.

From what I’ve heard, the Lakers are targeting early April,” Buha said. “I don’t have a concrete date in terms of is that like April 2nd. Is that April 9th? But sometime within that first week to week-and-a-half of April, the Lakers are trying to get Vando back. The season ends on April 14th, so they are trying to get him back to get him three or four games under his belt.



It appears that Vanderbilt could return as early as the team’s Tuesday game against the Toronto Raptors.


What Jarred Vanderbilt’s Return Would Mean for Lakers

On paper, Jarred Vanderbilt’s stats aren’t anything impressive. He’s only averaging 5.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game. However, where he’s valuable is what he brings to the defensive side of the court.

He’s likely the Lakers’ second-best defender behind Anthony Davis. The Lakers have the 15th-best defense in the NBA this season and Vanderbilt’s absence has likely played a major role in the struggles. The team is currently fighting for a playoff spot and needs all the help they can get.

If Vanderbilt can get up to speed, the Lakers could make some big NBA news to end the season.

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