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Lakers rookie Julius Randle out for season after fracturing right tibia during NBA debut (Video)
By SP_COP on October 30, 2014 | From
Lakers rookie Julius Randle out for season after fracturing right tibia during NBA debut (Video) It's a crushing diagnosis for both the 19-year-old Randle, whom many expected to contend for Rookie of the Year honors in L.A. this year, and it's a heartbreaking loss for a Lakers team desperate for infusions of youth, talent and energy in the here and now, and desperate for foundational pieces around which to construct the next competitive iteration of the purple and gold in the future. All the Lakers organization and its fans, and the rest of us who just hate to see young players (or old players, or any players) waylaid like this, can hope for now is Randle making that "full recovery" and returning for an impressive second pass at his rookie season, like Blake Griffin did after suffering a broken left kneecap during the 2009 preseason.

The Lakers, wounded and coming off an opening night pasting at the hands of James Harden, Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, will play the second game of a back-to-back against the go-go Phoenix Suns in Arizona on Wednesday.

With the Los Angeles Lakers likely facing a difficult season as they try to compete in a tough Western Conference, many Lakers fans had identified rookie forward Julius Randle as one of the few potential bright spots to focus on for the campaign ahead. That bright spot dimmed Tuesday, as the former Kentucky star and No. 7 overall pick suffered a broken right tibia during the fourth quarter of the Lakers' opening night loss to the Houston Rockets.

With just under seven minutes remaining in a game the Rockets led comfortably, Randle faced up against Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas at the right elbow and drove right to the basket. As he leaped to attempt a shot, his left foot hit the back of his right leg; Randle collided with Rockets center Tarik Black in mid-air, lost the ball in the process, and appeared to be favoring his right leg before he even came down....
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