Former UK star Randle suffers broken leg in NBA debut - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former UK star Randle suffers broken leg in NBA debut

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AP photo. AP photo.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle has left his NBA debut on a stretcher after injuring his right leg in the fourth quarter Tuesday night. The team confirmed later that Randle has a broken tibia.

The seventh overall pick out of Kentucky had his right leg immobilized as he left the court, casting a pall over the Lakers' season opener against the Houston Rockets.

After the game, Lakers' coach Byron Scott told Rachel Nichols of TNT: "I think naturally we're all thinking about Julius' well-being. Obviously the last four or five minutes of the game were not very important. It's more important to feel where he was and how he felt. I talked to him briefly, and we all feel bad. He's a young, promising player who was injured in his first game. He didn't say anything. He was crying a bit. I told him to stay strong and that he's going to be a great player in this league. He will have to work harder. He has it in him. We will wait for him to get back. I just keep telling guys everybody's got to step up. When one guy goes down, another guy gets an opportunity, and you've got to take advantage of it."

The 19-year-old Randle was injured when he collided with two Houston players under the Lakers' basket midway through the final period. He was in obvious pain as the Lakers' medical staff tended to him, eventually immobilizing his leg while Kobe Bryant gripped his hand in support.

Randle was the SEC's freshman of the year while helping the Wildcats to the NCAA championship game last season.

Nichols Tweeted a photo of Randle being loaded onto the ambulance with his mother by his side. Social media reaction was strong. Steph Curry Tweeted, "Praying for the best and a speedy recovery."

Bryant told reporters after the game, "We're here to pick him up and get him through it. I just told him to keep his spirits up."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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