The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that the team will be without starting center Timofey Mozgov on Wednesday evening when they take on the Atlanta Hawks.
Mozgov was injured early in the second half of the Lakers’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. He briefly left the game after taking an elbow to the mouth from Pacers’ point guard Jeff Teague, but returned after a short stint on the bench. His return to the floor was brief, however, as he was forced from the game for good after getting inadvertently poked in the left eye.
The blow to the eye impaired Mozgov’s vision and it was determined that the Lakers’ big man sustained a left eye contusion. The team’s medical staff conducted a CT scan in an attempt to learn if there are any additional injuries – such as an orbital fracture – but the initial tests were inconclusive. The team announced that he will undergo further testing once he returns to Los Angeles on Thursday while an announcement regarding his prognosis will be made at that time.
Mozgov is beginning the first season of a four-year, $64 million pact he inked with the Lakers on the first evening of free agency back in July. He is only playing 22 minutes per contest for the youthful Lakers, but he has looked more spry than he did during his injury-riddled campaign for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015-2016. Mozgov is averaging 8.5 points and six rebounds along with nearly one block per game.
Veteran Tarik Black is likely to start in Mozgov’s place when Los Angeles takes on old friend Dwight Howard and the Hawks on Wednesday.