SAD NEWS: The NBA has permanently suspended Jarred Vanderbilt.

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Lakers news: Jarred Vanderbilt takes major step towards return from injury

Jarred Vanderbilt took the next step in his return to action from a heel injury.


Los Angeles Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who has yet to play this season due to left heel bursitis, has been cleared by team doctors to ramp up his basketball activities.


“Jarred Vanderbilt was reevaluated by Lakers team doctors and has been cleared to begin a return to play progression,” the Lakers said in a statement. “Further updates will be provided as appropriate.”


The Lakers purposefully did not put a timetable on Vando’s return to the lineup. Heel injuries can be sensitive to rehab, and Vanderbilt will still have to work his way back into game shape. Vanderbilt hasn’t played since the preseason opener on Oct. 7.


The Lakers, predictably, have missed Vanderbilt’s work on the glass, all-around hustle and energy, and Swiss-Army-Knife defense — compounded by the injuries to fellow forwards LeBron James, Taurean Prince, and Rui Hachimura. Prince and Hachimura have since re-joined the mix, though LeBron remains on the injury report.


Vanderbilt made 24 starts for the Lakers last season after being acquired at the trade deadline. He averaged 7.2 rebounds and 6.7 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game. He was the perceived frontrunner to start on opening night before injuring his heel.


The 24-year-old signed a 4-year, $48 million extension prior to training camp.


Meanwhile, guards Gabe Vincent (left knee effusion) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (right patella contusion) remain out for the foreseeable future. Vincent was also evaluated by Lakers team doctors on Monday. No official update has been provided by the team.




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