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On Oct. 12, the Lakers announced backup guard Talen Horton-Tucker would have surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his right thumb, expected to keep him out for four weeks. 

It was a relative blow to Los Angeles, which had the highest roster turnover of any team this offseason and returned just three players: Horton-Tucker and superstar forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Horton-Tucker, who is just 20 years old, has great potential with his skill and length, boasting a 7-foot-1 wingspan with his 6-foot-4 frame. 

“There’s nothing Talen doesn’t have to keep him from being an elite player,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. 

Nearly a month later, Horton-Tucker is nearing a return to the floor, according to Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel. He is set to return to full-contact practice on Tuesday with his season debut expected to soon follow. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Horton-Tucker’s status.

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How long will Talen-Horton Tucker be out? 

Horton-Tucker is nearing a month after his surgery, and he has made good progress by setting himself up to return as a full-contact participant for Tuesday’s practice. 

It is currently unclear how long it will be until Horton-Tucker makes his season debut. Vogel said there is no timetable on his return and he will have to be worked back into the rotation once he returns to action. 

Horton-Tucker’s return should aid Los Angeles’ bench, which already ranks sixth in the NBA by averaging 38.7 points per game. 

However, the team has struggled as of late without James, who is out with an abdominal injury. It is also integrating star guard Russell Westbrook, who has shot a career-low true shooting percentage through the Lakers’ first 10 games. 

MORE: How long is LeBron James out?What to make of Russell Westbrook’s rocky start with Lakers 

Talen Horton-Tucker injury timeline

Oct 12: The Lakers announced Horton-Tucker had successful surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his right thumb and would be re-evaluated by team doctors in approximately four weeks. 

Nov. 1: Vogel announced Horton-Tucker had his stitches removed and that the team was hopeful he could begin shooting on Nov. 3. 

Nov. 8: Vogel said following the team’s shootaround that Horton-Tucker will be cleared for contact beginning on Tuesday’s practice. 

MORE: NBA Power Rankings 2021: Each team’s biggest X-Factors through Week 3 



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