Report: Trevor Ariza takes huge step in returning from injury for Lakers

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers forward Trevor Ariza is getting closer to returning to the team.

Ariza took a major step in his recovery from a right ankle injury that has kept him out for the entire 2021-22 season to date, as he participated in live action for the first time on Monday.

This is a great sign for the Lakers as Ariza would provide the team with more depth on the wing this season. He also would help take some of the defensive load off of the likes of Avery Bradley and Talen Horton-Tucker.

Ariza, 36, signed with the Lakers this past offseason after playing 30 games in the 2020-21 campaign with the Miami Heat.

Ariza won an NBA title with the Lakers back in the 2008-09 season, but he has played for several other teams since then.

The defensive-minded wing was a valuable piece for Miami last season, as he averaged 9.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.0 minutes per game. He started 27 of the 30 games that he appeared in for the Heat and shot 41.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers are currently 12-12 on the 2021-22 season, but they are hoping for more consistency with LeBron James back in the lineup. James has missed 12 games so far this season with multiple injuries.

While Ariza isn’t a star player that would completely transform the Lakers’ roster, he brings a veteran presence that should help the team make a run in the middle of the 2021-22 campaign.

It is unclear when he will be able to return to the lineup, but it appears that he is taking all the necessary steps to get to that point.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.