Jordan Hill sat out five preseason games with a herniated disk (Gus Ruelas / Associated…)
Lakers forward Jordan Hill made his return to the lineup Wednesday night against the Clippers after sitting out five preseason games with a herniated disk.
Hill had the same kind of injury that knocked Dwight Howard out for six months. Hill's situation was less severe and the Lakers believe they'll be able to keep him healthy through exercise and treatment.
After he initially hurt his back, Hill felt "a tingling down my leg" that concerned him but after a few weeks with the Lakers trainers, he said "that's gone."
Against the Clippers, Hill played 26 minutes, scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the Lakers' seventh straight defeat to open the preseason.
In a motion offense, like the Princeton hybrid being installed by Coach Mike Brown, when one player doesn't know where to go, he can throw off the entire team.
The time off has definitely put Hill behind, and he initially looked scattered against the Clippers.
"We use different plays I didn't know, we used a couple of times," Hill said. "The first preseason game, I knew what was going on but being out that long kind of hurt me."
Still, the 25-year-old forward is confident he'll catch up soon.
"It's not really hard to figure out what's going on. I've just got to read the player with the ball. I've got to read the guy. I've got to read the five-man, the guards," Hill said. "I know when to cut, when to set a screen. There's a lot of options out of it, so that's what I've got to pay attention to."
He might even need to put in a little extra work outside of team practice.
"I can definitely still have the staff come and we can script it by ourselves," Hill said.
Hill impressed the team when he came into camp in excellent shape but bad luck forced him to the sidelines. Brown expects Hill to be the team's primary big off the bench, playing alongside both Howard and Pau Gasol throughout the season.
The Lakers play their final game of the preseason Thursday night.
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