After missing a total of 658 games to injury from 2013-2015, the Lakers medical staff has improved in a considerable way over the last two seasons. The turnaround includes last year’s squad that missed 93 games to injury in the team’s first season in the post-Kobe and Gary Vitti Era. Marco Nunez impressed in his first year as the head athletic trainer guiding the Lakers to a top-10 finish in games lost, salary dollars lost, and minutes lost.
Nunez will now be tasked with keeping a new crop of players healthy while they experience the growing pains that come from being the second youngest in the league. Summer league and preseason have shown that isn’t always easy as rookie Lonzo Ball has missed time with a groin strain and sprained ankle. Furthermore, Los Angeles invested in two veteran frontcourt players with a proclivity for injury. Veterans Andrew Bogut and Brook Lopez were added to the roster and keeping these two on the court will present its own set of challenges.
Aiding the athletic training staff will be a revamped strength and conditioning unit. Gunnar Peterson, best known for his lengthy list of celebrity clients, was named the new Director of Strength and Endurance Training. Joining Peterson will be Josh Wright and Adi Vase, a former member of the top-rated Spurs medical staff, as assistant strength and conditioning coaches.
Together the two units will make sure the young Lakers move steadily forward in the team’s planned rebuilding process.