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When one Los Angeles Laker returns to the floor, a teammate always seems to take his place on the injured list. That proved to be the case on Thursday, when the Lakers announced two bits of news: one good, one bad. Sadly for L.A., backup center Mo Bamba will be out at least four weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced Thursday. However, starting point guard D'Angelo Russell, who has missed the past six games with an ankle injury of his own, is expected to return on Friday when the Lakers play the Toronto Raptors.

Both Bamba and Russell were acquired by the Lakers at the trade deadline. Bamba has played minimally since joining the team due in part to the breakout performance of fellow deadline acquisition Jarred Vanderbilt. In seven games as a Laker, he is averaging just 11.5 minutes and 4.4 points per game. With Bamba out, Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel will be asked to play bigger roles in the front court.

But Russell's return alleviates pressure on the rest of this team's guards. Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves and Malik Beasley have helped the Lakers go 4-2 in the games that Russell has missed, but with LeBron James still injured, the Lakers need all of the ball-handling that they can get.

Russell averaged 17.3 points per game in the three full games he has played since joining the Lakers. That is roughly in line with what he averaged as a Minnesota Timberwolf this season, where he was having the most efficient scoring season of his career. 

The Lakers acquired Russell to serve as a secondary ball-handler next to James who, unlike Russell Westbrook, could fit next to him due to his 3-point shooting. With James injured, the Lakers haven't had much of a chance to test out that fit, but for now, at least they are set to get one of them back on the floor as they push for a play-in spot.