TheLos Angeles LakersexpectJulius Randleto
miss the rest of the season after the rookie forward underwent surgery
Wednesday to repair a fractured tibia that he suffered in his first NBA
the Lakers' top draft choice and the seventh overall selection in June,
suffered the injury in the fourth quarter Tuesday night in the Lakers'
season-opening loss to theHouston Rocketsat Staples Center.
19-year old drove to the basket, planted his right foot awkwardly and
collapsed. Randle, a former Kentucky standout, remained on the court
until he was carted off on a stretcher. He scored two points.
Randle's surgery was performed by Dr. Donald Wiss at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Lakers announced.
didn't get a whole lot of sleep just thinking about the young fella,"
Lakers coach Byron Scott said Wednesday before facing the Suns. "(I was)
talking to him after the game, basically just holding him and listening
to him cry and trying to console him as much as possible. It's a tough
young man obviously has a promising future. We're going to miss him for
a little while, but we have to regroup. We have to basically move on,
as crazy as it sounds. We have to move on."
is the second Lakers player in as many weeks to be ruled out for the
season because of health issues. Last week, the team announced that
40-year-old point guardSteve Nashwould remain sidelined because of recurring back issues.
Lakers' health troubles date back to last season, when their players
combined to miss a league-high 319 games because of injury.
expected that the Lakers will file for another disabled player
exception with the NBA, as they have done with Nash. If granted in
Randle's case, the team would expect to receive an additional $1.5
is the Lakers' first first-round pick in seven years, a talented
prospect in one of the more touted lottery classes in years. He was also
their highest draft choice since the selection of James Worthyfirst overall in 1982. Worthy's rookie season also ended early because of a broken leg.