The Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason finale was supposed to offer up an opportunity to try out Russell Westbrook in a bench role. That experiment did not last long, however, as Westbrook left the game in the first quarter and will not return.
Westbrook left the game with less than three minutes remaining in the first. While there was no obvious moment where he might have gotten hurt, Westbrook had a visible limp as he made his way into the back.
Eventually, the team announced that Westbrook would not return to the game. It is unclear if this is precautionary or if there is concern that the former league MVP could miss an extended period of time.
Russell Westbrook will not return tonight with a left hamstring injury.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 15, 2022
Westbrook, for the first time since joining the team last summer, came off the bench during Friday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings, with Lakers coach Darvin Ham stressing that the move should not be viewed as a demotion. Westbrook has previously said that he’s not opposed to a role coming off the bench.
The news comes hours after a report indicated that another member of Los Angeles’ backcourt rotation, Dennis Schröder, would not be able to play against the Kings due to a finger injury, with further testing needed to identify the extent of his injury.