Timofey Mozgov is back to practicing after suffering a groin injury last week, according to Brad Turner of the LA Times. He is currently practicing with the Russian national team. Fortunately, it appears his injury is not very significant.
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The Los Angeles Lakers made one of the most criticized free agency signings when they agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal with former Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov right as the free agency period opened back on July 1st.
Mozgov, now 30 years of age, found himself buried on Cleveland’s bench for the vast majority of the latter portion of last season, as the Cavaliers went with a lot of small-ball lineups, utilizing other big men like Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye.
Mozgov also played last season despite a reported unsuccessful knee surgery last summer, raising questions about his health moving forward, considering his best years from a physical standpoint are likely behind him.
Unfortunately, those questions were only fueled recently when Mozgov injured his groin in an international friendly match while playing for his home country of Russia.
After undergoing an MRI, it appears the extent of the injury does not appear to be serious, though he will miss some time, according to Mike Trudell.
LAL confirmed that C Timofey Mozgov strained his groin playing for Russia. He’ll miss 2 games, and be re-evaluated sometime mid-next week.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 14, 2016
Hopefully with some time off, Mozgov can recover fully and start to prepare for training camp that will likely start at the end of September, with preseason action tipping off in early October.
The Lakers paid a hefty price for the Russian big man and will need him to stay healthy if he hopes to at least come close to living up to his new contract. Los Angeles will need a center that can defend the rim and be an effective pick-and-roll finisher. Mozgov is capable of those things, as he has shown in the past, but if his health becomes a recurring issue, the Lakers may never hear the end of it.