Sports Out West

Metta World Peace injury: Lakers F ‘encouraged’ with progress

MettaWorldPeace

Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace is off crutches and appears on track to recover within the six-week timetable originally given by doctors when he underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee last week, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.

Always the optimist, World Peace was upbeat when speaking about the rehabilitation processĀ  to reporters.

“It’s going really well,” World Peace said Wednesday. “I was on the crutches for a couple days, but it just gets better. Like, every half of day, it improves. I’m very encouraged.”

The injury to the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year is a devastating blow to the Lakers chances at postseason success, especially given the injuries already bothering stars Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. In order for Los Angeles to get a contribution from World Peace consistent with the prognosis, they would have to make the second round of the 2013 NBA playoffs.

The Lakers are currently situated a half-game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They will take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday to maintain that positioning and avoid missing the postseason for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

In 70 games in 2012-13, World Peace has averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.