Los Angeles Lakers' D'Angelo Russell Expected to Return Friday

The Los Angeles Lakers have managed to navigate a recent rash of injuries over the past few weeks, and now they may finally have some reinforcements coming. Lakers reporter Mike Trudell revealed the team hopes to have D'Angelo Russell back for Friday's game against the Toronto Raptors.

Russell joined the Lakers via trade in early February but promptly sustained an ankle injury. He has missed seven of a possible 11 games so far, and even when on the court, he has failed to truly find his footing with the team. He's averaging 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game with a .554 true shooting percentage on the Lakers this season; he averaged 17.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game with a .604 true shooting percentage in his 54 appearances with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite being without Russell and LeBron James for most of February, the Lakers are 32-34 and ninth in the Western Conference. If they can get their health in order, they'll have a chance of clawing their way out of the play-in tournament. Unfortunately, the health of a team whose success depends on LeBron James and Anthony Davis can't be taken for granted. Neither player has appeared in more than 56 games in any of the past three seasons.

If Russell isn't ready for Friday's game against the Raptors, his next chance to get on the court will be on Sunday against the New York Knicks.

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