Initially expected to miss "at least a week" with a hip injury, the prognosis has become a whole lot worse for Los Angeles Lakers forward-center Jordan Hill. According to an official release on the Lakers' website, Hill needs surgery on a potentially torn labrum and will miss the remainder of the season:
Results of the test showed he has loose fragments in addition to a possible labral tear. Hill has been advised that surgery will be needed to repair the injury, and he will be out for the remainder of the season.
Before going through with the procedure, Hill will also seek a second opinion, per the team's release.
For a team as thin as the Lakers, it goes without saying that Hill's loss is devastating. Though most of the focus had been on injured starters Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, Hill was undoubtedly one of the Lakers' most vital bench players.
Usually Mike D'Antoni's top option in the middle among reserves, Hill had the ability to spell either Gasol or Howard with equal effectiveness. The 25-year-old big man was averaging career highs in points (6.7), rebounds (5.7) and player efficiency rating (18.64) and finally seemed to be settling in as a solid NBA role player.
Though this is just his fourth season as a professional, finally finding his place within an NBA roster was a long time coming for Hill. A first-round pick by the New York Knicks in 2009, Hill was bounced around in rotations and the Lakers became his third NBA team late last season.
Hill wound up proving to be a valuable player for Los Angeles down the stretch in 2011-12, and the team rewarded him with a two-year contract during the offseason.
With Hill out for the season, one has to wonder whether the Lakers will delve back into the free-agent market. Names like Kenyon Martin have been bandied about, but the team has not contacted the veteran forward, according to USA Today's Sam Amick.
Either way, whether they reach out to Martin or not, the Lakers' road to postseason glory just got a whole lot tougher.
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