Buha: Jarred Vanderbilt will likely return before the end of this season

While the Los Angeles Lakers have been playing relatively well over the last month and change, they have still been dealing with the injury bug. Right now, they’re without three important rotation players: guard Gabe Vincent, big man Christian Wood and forward Jarred Vanderbilt.

Of the three, Vanderbilt is arguably the most integral player to the Lakers’ success. He’s an effective and versatile defender, a good rebounder and a player who, in general, infuses them with energy, effort and intensity.

He’s been out since Feb. 1, when he suffered a foot injury against the Boston Celtics. There has been anxiety over his prognosis and timeline, as fans have wondered if he will even return this season.

But according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic during a recent live stream, it looks like Vanderbilt will be back at some point before the end of this season (h/t Silver Screen and Roll).

“The latest I heard was yes…I’ve heard Vando is progressing upward. Sounds like he’s going to be back this season. It’s just a matter of timing. Is it two weeks from now, is it four weeks from now? That’s a big difference.”

Four weeks from now would mean a return during one of L.A.’s final few regular season games. That would give him very little time to get back in shape and regain his rhythm before the postseason starts, should the team make it there.

But of course, that would be a substantially better scenario than Vanderbilt not being able to play at all this spring.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire