The Lakers have released a statement that F Luol Deng had surgery to repair his right pectoral muscle on Wednesday. Per the release, the surgery was a success and Deng is expected to be ready for training camp. All of which is good news.
Unlike every other player, Deng did not have a post-exit interview media session so this is the first I’d heard of Deng having a pectoral issue. That, combined with Deng being shut down for the final 22 games of the season gives us an incomplete picture of how long he was hurt, how it occurred, or the true severity of it all. Clearly it was serious enough to be repaired surgically, but the Lakers’ release gives us little more than a vague timeline and a thumbs up for it being a success.
When Deng does return, though, he (and many others, I’d assume) hopes it’s in a more hybrid F role if not a full-time shift to PF exclusively. And while that move comes with its complications due to the logjam at PF and C, finding a way to make it work with Deng should be one of the key non-young player priorities for next season. Because it would be incredibly wasteful to have your highest paid player and someone set to make nearly 20% of the salary cap not being used in a way which at least attempts to optimize his play.
But that’s a discussion for a later day. For now, best wishes and a speedy recovery to Luol.
(UPDATE: Talia Ganguli of the LA Times has more information on Deng’s injury/surgery:
Deng's surgery was a quick, outpatient procedure. He hurt his pectoral muscle weightlifting recently. Expected to be fine well before camp.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 3, 2017
Well, that’s really good news and clears up some of the gray area I mentioned above.)