In more than two years as a Laker, things had never been going better for Larry Nance Jr. He won a starting job in training camp, had embraced and thrived in Coach Luke Walton’s system and had begun to show he may have a future beyond an NBA glue guy. Then he bit on a pump fake and all of that was put on hold. “It was one of those immediate (things),” Nance said. “I knew what happened.” What happened was that in the third quarter of Thursday’s loss in Portland, Caleb Swanigan got Nance off his feet. When the Portland forward rose to shoot, Nance was coming down and the third-year Laker’s left hand was sandwiched between the two forces. Nance underwent surgery the next day to repair a fractured bone in his left hand and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Speaking to reporters for the first time since the injury, Nance on Sunday said he was “frustrated” and called the injury “one of those bum-luck type deals.” And the timing, he acknowledged, made it tougher. “I was given a really good chance,” he said, “was making the most of it. So I’m just anxious to get back and keep making a good impression.” Nance was averaging 10.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in 23.1 minutes while shooting 61.4 percent from the field. The 24-year-old has battled various maladies throughout his career. He has never played more than 63 games in a season. Last year, he missed 16 games with a bone bruise in his left knee. The year before, it was soreness in his right knee that slowed him. “It’s been unfortunate that just little things that have been nicking at me,” Nance said. “This year I feel healthy and I feel great and everything.” To make matters worse, Nance is an avid video game player. The injury not only sidelined him from his job, but also from his preferred hobby away from basketball.
Injury puts career year on hold for ‘frustrated’ Larry Nance Jr.
Orange County Register | Nov 7