It's more bad injury news for the Los Angeles Lakers. They announced Thursday that Mo Bamba has been diagnosed with a high left ankle sprain and will be reevaluated in four weeks.
That puts Bamba, who went down in the first few minutes of Sunday's game against the Golden State Warriors, out of service for nearly the remainder of the regular season. He was the Lakers' major upgrade at the trade deadline, and he isn't the only one they'll be without: LeBron James remains out after injuring a tendon in his foot in late February. He's scheduled to be reevaluated in a few weeks, but there's no guarantee that he'll be ready to go at that time.
With 16 games left, it's not a great time for the Lakers to be losing players to injury. They're currently 32-34 and tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for the final Western Conference play-in spot, but the Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers are all right behind them with 31-35 records. Beyond that, the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, LA Clippers and Warriors are one to two games ahead of the Lakers. Even the fourth-place Phoenix Suns are catchable right now.
That all boils down to the Lakers being in trouble. They're losing players at a vital point in the season, when they need to be ramping up instead of being in a sprint just to stay with the pack. It's possible that Bamba and James could make it back in time for the play-in tournament, but there's no guarantee the team will make it that far.