UCLA Basketball: How Will Tyler Lamb's Surgery Impact the Bruins' Depth?

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  Tyler Lamb #1 of the UCLA Bruins drives on Nick Johnson #13 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Center on March 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The soap opera that is UCLA Bruins basketball continues.

Junior guard Tyler Lamb is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery this week to repair some loose cartilage in his left knee, Chris Foster of the L.A. Times reports.

Lamb started 32 of 33 games last year and averaged nine points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

The team is optimistic that he will only be out four to six weeks.

With the arrival of the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, which includes perimeter stars Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and UNC transfer PG Larry Drew II, Lamb was thought to be facing reduced playing time and a shift to a backup role in the Bruins' lineup.

Last month, ESPN's Andy Katz reported that Drew II will be UCLA's starting point guard.

However, an NCAA investigation concerning Muhammad and Anderson's eligibility has caused  speculation (via foxsportsnext.com) about whether either of them will be cleared to play when the team opens the 2012-13 season at home against Indiana State on Nov. 9.

If Lamb's rehab takes longer than expected and the NCAA investigation stays unresolved, UCLA head coach Ben Howland will start the season with a backcourt that lacks depth.

Rather than seeing a magical season unfold with a deep run in the NCAA tournament, Bruins fans could be looking at another nerve-racking year filled with uncertainty and uneasy nail-biting.

Stay tuned!