Metta World Peace has been out due to a knee injury.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 1:50 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland
All signs at this point are indicating that the Lakers will get Metta World Peace back for tonight's game against the New Orleans Hornets, as head coach Mike D'Antoni said the small forward would play, but probably not start the game, according to the team's Twitter feed.
Getting World Peace back is a boost for a Lakers team that is still looking to snag the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. His length gives them a decent defensive stopper, and another offensive option. It's not clear how much he'll play, but going forward, he'll definitely provide a big boost.
UPDATE: Monday, Apr. 8, at 4:15 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Great news for Lakers fans as Metta World Peace (knee) says he will play in tomorrow's game as Los Angeles looks to make a push for the playoffs, according to USA Today's Sam Amick.
Kobe Bryant has a nickname for Metta World Peace that was more than fitting on Monday afternoon, when the Lakers small forward made the stunning announcement that he would play in Tuesday night's game against New Orleans just 12 days after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
'I call him Logan now - he's Wolverine,' Bryant said of the popular X-Men character.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, March 27th, at 3:19 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, Metta World Peace will reportedly undergo surgery on Thursday. The Lakers forward is expected to be out six weeks:
Lakers forward Metta World Peace will have surgery tomorrow for a torn lateral meniscus and is expected to be out 6 weeks.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) March 27, 2013
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UPDATE: Wednesday, March 27th, at 12:50 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
Things are not looking good for Metta World Peace and the Lakers. According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Mike D'Antoni has suggested that World Peace could miss the rest of the regular season:
Mike D'Antoni says he's not optimistic that Metta World Peace returns before end of regular season. Jodie Meeks starts tonight vs. Minny.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 27, 2013
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UPDATE: Tuesday, March 26, at 9:16 p.m. ET by Dan Talintyre
The results are in from Metta World Peace's knee injury, and if you're a Lakers fan, the outcome isn't at all what you'd have liked it to be.
Latest Lakers setback: Metta World Peace has a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. He is returning to LA for further examination.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 27, 2013
The injury comes as a bitter blow to the Lakers, who are currently in a tight playoff race with several other teams in the Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers are all within two-and-a-half games of the Lakers' eighth seed, and Los Angeles has a very tough schedule remaining. They play against two of those teams before the end of the season, as well as the Rockets, Spurs and Clippers.
Essentially, the Lakers are not a lock for the postseason in 2013—especially without World Peace.
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Lakers say Metta World Peace has a strained left knee. He's doubtful to return— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 26, 2013
Losing the veteran added injury to insult. By the time World Peace was taken out of the game, the Lakers had already fallen behind big to Golden State, so the team might not have felt pressured to get him out immediately and chose instead not to take any chances.
Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register wanted to clarify exactly what the difference is between a sprain and a strain:
Metta World Peace's left knee is STRAINED, not sprained. A strain occurs from injury to muscle or tendon, not ligaments.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 26, 2013
World Peace was on his way to having a solid game despite the result on the scoreboard; he had seven points and two steals in 19 minutes on the floor.
Nearing the twilight years of his career, World Peace has been having a bit of a resurgence during the 2012-13 season. His points, steals and rebounds per game are all the highest they've been over the last four seasons, and his PER is his best since the 2008-09 campaign.
Losing World Peace at this stage of the season could be critical for the Lakers. For much of the year, Los Angeles had been a joke on and off the court. Finally, the team got things together and reached the .500 mark. Then came moving into a playoff spot.
The job is far from done, though, as the Lakers are only one game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.