Trevor Ariza will be sidelined about two months after having surgery on his right ankle, the Los Angeles Lakers revealed Wednesday.
Ariza, one of 11 new players added by the Lakers in the offseason, underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure Wednesday. He has missed most of training camp due to the ankle.
The Lakers stated Ariza, 36, will be reevaluated in approximately eight weeks.
Ariza returned to L.A. for a second stint with the franchise after winning a championship alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in 2009, signing a veterans minimum contract after being recruited by Russell Westbrook to join shortly after Westbrook was traded from Washington.
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Ariza averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Miami Heat last campaign, but only appeared in 30 of their 72 matches.
L.A. fell to 0-2 in the preseason with a 117-105 loss at the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.
Westbrook and LeBron James did not play in either game.
“It’s going to come together,” Carmelo Anthony said after the loss to the Suns. “It’s going to be pretty when it do.”
The 2021–22 season marks a return to Los Angeles for Ariza. The UCLA product played for the Lakers in ’07–08 and ’08–09, reaching the Finals twice while winning one championship alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Ariza is a 17-year NBA veteran, logging stints with 10 different franchises.
Ariza averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Heat last campaign. He was expected to be a member of Los Angeles’s wing rotation this season, a unit that includes LeBron James, Talen Horton-Tucker, Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore.
The Lakers won the 2020 championship in the NBA bubble, but they were eliminated by the Suns in the first round of the ’21 playoffs. The ’21–22 season marks year No. 19 for James as he looks to secure his fifth championship.
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