Vujacic suffers severe sprained ankle

LOS ANGELES -- Lakers reserve guard Sasha Vujacic left Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers with 2:51 remaining in the second quarter after being fouled in the act of shooting, landing on the defender's foot and suffering a severe left ankle sprain, according to the team.

"That's a difficult sprain," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said after the game. "That one's going to be a while. He could miss the first round, easily."

Vujacic was unable to shoot the ensuing free throws as a result of the foul and had to be carried off the court by several teammates. He did not return to the game and was carted out of the arena after the game holding crutches and wearing a large protective boot over his left foot.

Team officials said there was no timetable for Vujacic's return and he will undergo a MRI exam Thursday. Initial X-rays conducted at the arena came back negative, meaning that there is no fracture in the ankle.

Vujacic, averaging 2.7 points and 1.2 rebounds this season, had eight points when exiting the game a day after registering season highs of 13 points and six rebounds in the Lakers 106-100 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

He was not the only Lakers player to suffer an injury setback on Wednesday. Jordan Farmar played just 1.3 seconds on his strained left hamstring, but said he will be ready to play when the playoffs start Sunday against Oklahoma City. Luke Walton's surgically-repaired lower back also tightened up, leaving him to question after the game if he rushed his return.

And Ron Artest twisted an ankle and did not play in the second half. "I'll be OK," Artest said about his ankle. He would not identify which ankle was hurt and said he didn't remember when or how the injury occurred. "It's nothing serious. I'll be fine."

The Lakers were already without Andrew Bynum (strained left Achilles tendon) and Kobe Bryant (fractured right index finger) on Wednesday, both of whom are expected to be back for the start of the playoffs, however.

"With the injuries, you wish you had another two weeks to get healthy, but that's not going to happen," Jackson said. "We'll just let it be what it is and come back and play with what we've got."

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.