The Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to secure the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and Metta World Peace could return as early as Tuesday night against the New Orleans Hornets to help them achieve that increasingly challenging goal.
The Lakers’ mercurial forward suffered a torn meniscus just 12 days prior to Tuesday’s contest and was given an initial timetable of six weeks for a recovery. A self-proclaimed fast healer, World Peace suggested then that he would be ready just a week and a half later via Twitter and could turn out to be spot on thanks to a lack of swelling consistent with meniscus surgery and a team medical staff that has been closely monitoring and treating him along the way.
On Monday, he played three-on-three scrimmage at practice and felt good after the session. Head coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed the possibility on Monday.
“Tomorrow morning he’ll go through some more tests, and if he passes he’ll play,” D’Antoni said.
The Lakers have suffered a litany of injuries to key personnel throughout the season, including Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill in addition to World Peace. With the team facing a must-win situation for the remainder of the season, having all of their key players back is crucial, and it makes World Peace’s potential return more timely.
Tuesday’s game will tip off at 7:30 PT at Staples Center.
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