Jarred Vanderbilt is frustrated about his injury-riddled season

There are some what-ifs regarding the way the 2023-24 season went for the Los Angeles Lakers. One thing people have wondered about is the rash of injuries the team suffered to some of its complementary players and how much better it would’ve done if it weren’t for those injuries.

One key player hit especially hard by the injury bug was forward Jarred Vanderbilt. He was the hidden gem in last year’s Russell Westbrook trade, and he played a sizable role in helping L.A. get to the Western Conference Finals.

But he dealt with heel bursitis early this season, which prevented him from making his 2023-24 regular season debut until Dec. 2. Then, just as he was starting to truly get into rhythm and play well, he suffered a midfoot sprain in early February, and just like that, his season was over prematurely.

He expressed his disappointment with not being available on a consistent basis for his team.

Via Lakers Nation:

“It definitely was frustrating not being available,” Vanderbilt said. “It’s been a long year dealing with injuries and trying to get healthy to be there for the team. So it definitely was frustrating, especially knowing I could have contributed to some of the stuff we were lacking this year. So definitely was frustrating.”

He was listed as questionable for Game 5 of L.A.’s first-round playoff series versus the Denver Nuggets, but he ultimately didn’t play in the team’s postseason finale.

“The thing with foot injuries is they just take time,” he said. “I put myself in position to be prepared and give myself the best chance to potentially play and I think attacking the full rehab process and doing everything possible that I could to put myself on the floor. So that was the process.”

Vanderbilt’s defense and overall energy definitely could’ve helped against Denver, especially considered how Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. killed the Lakers at times.

But it is almost a certainty he will remain with the Lakers moving forward, as he agreed to a generous contract extension last summer that runs through the 2027-28 season.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire