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Jalen Hood-Schifino has begun ‘return to play progression’ for Los Angeles Lakers



Former Indiana basketball guard Jalen Hood-Schifino
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jalen Hood-Schifino is close to making his NBA debut as he takes the next step in his rehab process. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Indiana basketball guard Jalen Hood-Schifino has yet to take the floor to make his NBA debut but could be close to a return.

The Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard, who has been dealing with a right patella contusion, provided an update on Hood-Schifino.

“Jalen Hood-Schifino was recently reevaluated by team doctors and has begun a return to play progression,” The Lakers said in a statement on Thursday. “Further updates will be provided as appropriate.”

In four games this preseason, the former Indiana basketball guard averaged just 3.5 points on just 5-of-28 from the field.

During six Summer League games, Hood-Schifino averaged 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He struggled shooting the ball, again, at just 34 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from three.

Jalen Hood-Schifino, the No. 17 overall selection in this summer’s NBA Draft, was in the middle of an impressive training camp, however. He not only was receiving high praise from Lakers head coach Darvin Ham, but also a lot of his teammates.

“Yeah he was phenomenal … I don’t think anyone would disagree if I called him the MVP of day one,” Ham said at the start of training camp. “He was very solid. We are really, really excited about him.

“Jalen is really soft spoken, I said, ‘kid you are going to be a 15-year point guard in this league with the skillset you have, with the way you are going to get better and how young you are’ … Played with a lot of moxie … he plays with stability. You can’t speed him up, you can’t slow him down. He’s a fierce competitor in a silent way. You are not going to be able to do whatever you want with him. He is going to guard the hell out of the ball.”

SEE ALSO: Watch feature video on Jalen Hood-Schifino path to the NBA

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.