Lakers Injury Report: Jarred Vanderbilt Out, Vlatko Cancar Doubtful for Season Opener Against Nuggets


The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets are set to clash in the first game of the 2023-24 NBA regular season on Tuesday, October 24, at the Ball Arena in Colorado. Both teams have high expectations for the new campaign, but they also have some injury concerns to deal with.


Lakers Missing Key Role Player and Rookie Guard

The Lakers have ruled out forward Jarred Vanderbilt and rookie guard Jalen Hood-Schifino for the season opener against the Nuggets. Vanderbilt is dealing with left heel soreness, while Hood-Schifino has a right patella contusion. Both players are expected to play significant roles for the Lakers this season, especially Vanderbilt, who averaged 7.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game last season.

Vanderbilt’s absence will leave a void in the Lakers’ frontcourt rotation, as he is one of their best defenders and rebounders. Hood-Schifino, who was the 17th pick in the 2023 NBA draft out of Indiana, is a promising young guard who can provide scoring and playmaking off the bench. The Lakers will also be without their two-way players Colin Castleton, Alex Fudge and D’Moi Hodge, who are inactive for the game.

Nuggets Dealing with Injury to Starting Forward

The Nuggets are not fully healthy either, as they have listed starting forward Vlatko Cancar as doubtful for the season opener. Cancar underwent knee surgery in the offseason and has been limited in training camp and preseason. He is a key piece for the Nuggets, who rely on his versatility and shooting on both ends of the floor.

Cancar averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game last season, while shooting 41.7% from three-point range. He also played solid defense against some of the best wings in the league, such as LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. If he is unable to play on Tuesday, the Nuggets will likely start Aaron Gordon at the four and move Michael Porter Jr. to the three.

Nuggets Looking to Repeat as Champions, Lakers Seeking Redemption

The season opener will be a highly anticipated matchup between two of the top contenders in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are coming off their first NBA championship in franchise history, after sweeping the Lakers in the conference finals and defeating the Brooklyn Nets in six games in the finals. They will receive their championship rings before the game, which will surely motivate them to defend their title.

The Lakers, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from a disappointing season that saw them finish as the seventh seed and lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns. They made some major changes in the offseason, trading for All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell and signing veteran forward Taurean Prince. They also retained their core of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves, who are eager to prove themselves again.

The game will feature some of the best players in the league, such as James, Davis, Russell, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Porter Jr. It will also be a test of depth and chemistry for both teams, as they adjust to their new rosters and deal with injuries. The game will tip off at 4:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted on TNT.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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