Jovan Buha reveals Lakers’ target date for Jarred Vanderbilt’s return

Little by little, things may be starting to fall into place for the Los Angeles Lakers as far as a possible postseason run.

Even though they went down to the Indiana Pacers on Friday while scoring a season-low 90 points, they have won seven of their last 10 games. They’re in ninth place in the Western Conference, and they trail the eighth-place Sacramento Kings by just 1.5 games, which suggests they could end up moving forward in the standings.

Guard Gabe Vincent, who has played in just five games this season due to a persistent knee ailment, seems to be very close to finally returning. Meanwhile, forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been gradually ramping up his activity after spraining his foot about two months ago.

According to Jovan Buha, a Lakers beat writer for The Athletic, during a recent question and answer session, the team is targeting sometime in early April for Vanderbilt’s return (h/t Lakers Daily).

“From what I’ve heard, the Lakers are targeting early April,” Buha said regarding Vanderbilt’s potential return. “I don’t have a concrete date in terms of is that April 2nd? Is that April 9th? But sometime within that first week to week and a half of April, the Lakers are trying to get Vando back. The season ends on April 14th, so they are trying to get him back to get at least three or four games under his belt. One good sign is he’s been traveling with the team.”

The Lakers have been missing Vanderbilt’s ability to effectively guard players at multiple positions, hit the boards, run the floor in transition and provide them with energy and intensity. He had already missed the last several weeks of this season with heel bursitis, and he had been just starting to hit his stride at the time of his foot injury.

An early April return would leave him with little time to get back in game shape and rhythm before the start of the postseason. But of course, L.A. would much rather have him back at that point than not have him come back at all this season.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire