The Los Angeles Lakers could use a boost and starting point guard Dennis Schroder would undoubtedly offer one.
But there is no clear-cut answer if Schroder is ready to return from his stint on the COVID-19 list for Friday’s game vs. the Portland Trail Blazers.
Schroder has missed the Lakers’ last three games — all loses — while waiting to clear the NBA’s health and safety protocols. That may or may not happen in time for Friday.
“We’re still hopeful that he clears the protocols,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters.
Overall, the Lakers have lost four straight. That includes a blowout loss against the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
Obviously, the injury to power forward Anthony Davis is the biggest blow. But not having Schroder hurts, too.
“Dennis carries a big load for us,” Vogel said. “He’s a big-minutes guy that really moves the needle for us on the defensive end with his containment and pressure.
“It sets the tone for us. And obviously the versatility he brings to the table offensively with the ability to bring the ball up and have another ballhandler alongside (LeBron James) but also carry the scoring load as well.”
Schroder is averaging 14.2 points and 4.3 assists on the season.
He tested negative for COVID-19 on Feb. 20, but was expected to miss seven days because of the league’s contact tracing rules. A seventh day from the test would be Friday vs. the Blazers.