Josh McRoberts expects to return within the week
Although the Lakers have officially listed him as day-to-day, reserve forward Josh McRoberts said he expects it will be the end of the week before the sprained big toe in his left foot will fully heal.
He will remain sidelined tonight when the Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies, the fourth consecutive game he will miss because of the injury. The Lakers play Tuesday against Phoenix, Wednesday at Utah, Friday against Cleveland and Saturday against the Clippers.
"I've always been banged up because of the style of play that I have," McRoberts said. "This is killing me to sit out."
McRoberts said he senses he's made progress. Although he's sat out of practices since Monday, McRoberts said the Lakers' training staff has cleared him to perform cardio exercises, including daily runs on an elliptical machine. He also views practice and film sessions.
McRoberts still wears tape on his left foot and receives unspecified treatment daily to nullify the pain. An MRI exam and CT scan last Tuesday did not show any fractures.
"The way I play the game is running and jumping," McRoberts said. "When I can barely dunk and barely move, I'm not helping as much."
Meanwhile, the Lakers' reserve unit has hardly excelled during McRoberts' absence even as the team won two of the three games he'd missed before Sunday.
They miss McRoberts' 5.7 points a game, 53.8% shooting and 5.7 rebounds through hustle plays. The bench has been outscored by opponents' reserves, 83-52. And Coach Mike Brown argues the team's transition defense has suffered.
"When you have a guy like that at that size who's athletic, he's missed," Brown said. "It's part of the process. He'll come back when he can and I'm sure he'll help us out when he comes back on the floor."
McRoberts said he and the Lakers' training staff are remaining patient with the process.
"I have to be effective," McRoberts said. "At this point, I missed some time and you don't want to go back where it sets you back another two months. We're close to getting it completely healthy so we may as well take the time now so it's not a recurring thing."
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