Ham, Lakers unsure of availability for Wood, Vanderbilt

Jokic-inspired Nuggets overpower Lakers to take Game 1 (2:40)

Nikola Jokic's 32 points helps steer the Denver Nuggets to a 114-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. (2:40)

DENVER -- It remains unclear whether Los Angeles Lakers forwards Christian Wood and Jarred Vanderbilt, who missed Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, will be available to return at any point in the series.

Wood has been sidelined since Feb. 14 because of discomfort in his left knee, undergoing arthroscopic surgery on March 19. He averaged 6.9 points on 46.6% shooting (30.7% from 3) and 5.1 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game prior to the injury.

"All I'll say is he's still going through his recovery process from injury, his rehab process," Lakers coach Darvin Ham said on a conference call with reporters when asked about Wood's potential to return. "Obviously, he has size, he has length, he has rebounding capabilities, he can stretch the floor. But first and foremost, he has a couple more boxes to check before we even consider that."

Wood averaged 5.0 points on 80% shooting and 4.0 rebounds in two regular-season games against the Nuggets.

The absence of Wood and Vanderbilt has limited the Lakers' depth on the bench, which had only one player who scored in Saturday's 114-103 Game 1 loss to the Nuggets.

Denver's reserves outscored Los Angeles' bench 17-11 on Saturday. Taurean Prince was the only Lakers substitute to score, putting up 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting in 20 minutes. He was also the only Lakers reserve to attempt a shot. Jaxson Hayes, Spencer Dinwiddie and Gabe Vincent all had zero field goal attempts.

The Lakers have been without Vanderbilt since Feb. 1 because of a right midfoot sprain.

Ham said Thursday that Vanderbilt's recovery regimen was "going according to plan" and declined any further timeline for the forward's return to the lineup.

Vanderbilt wore a walking boot on his right foot on Friday for the team's flight to Denver and still had it on as he observed Lakers practice at Ball Arena from the sidelines. Ham said that the boot was "just a precautionary measure" and said Vanderbilt's recovery remains a "day-to-day thing."