LOS ANGELES — Lakers forward Brandon Ingram injured his left ankle in the first quarter of Wednesday night’s 121-113 win over San Antonio when he landed on the foot of Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge.
After an official’s review, Aldridge was called for a flagrant foul 1 for sticking his foot underneath the spot where Ingram was going to land when he attempted a jump shot. Ingram was on the floor in pain for a spell after the foul, prompting his teammates to surround him to check on his status.
Ingram made the jump shot and stayed in the game to shoot the free throw, which he also made, before checking out with 6:34 remaining in the first quarter. The third-year veteran received X-rays on the ankle, which came back negative, but the Lakers still ruled him out from returning to the contest.
Ingram, with a heavy wrap on his ankle, used crutches to get around the postgame locker room, but he left the arena walking on his own after his ankle had turned all the way to the floor when he injured it.
“I feel way better than I should,” Ingram told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne after the game.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ingram would be reevaluated Thursday. The Lakers play a road back-to-back starting in San Antonio on Friday and finishing in Memphis on Saturday.
“There’s no timetable or anything like that yet, but they said he got it pretty good,” Walton said of Ingram, who came into the night averaging 15.7 points and 4.2 rebounds on the season.
If Ingram misses time, Walton said he plans to stagger LeBron James‘ and Lonzo Ball‘s minutes as much as possible so Los Angeles always has a steady ball handler on the court. The Lakers’ lead backup point guard, Rajon Rondo, continues to miss time while recovering from a broken right hand, but he has ramped up his activity this week.
With the Lakers already responding to injuries to Rondo and Ball in the early going, as well as suspensions to Rondo and Ingram, this is merely the latest obstacle to overcome.
“Just next man up mentality. He’s a big part of what we do,” Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said of Ingram. “Big part offensively and defensively, so for us, it’s all about stepping up. Next man has to get in there.”