Lakers News: Latest on Kobe Bryant's Ailing Knee, Wesley Johnson's Foot and More
The Los Angeles Lakers will begin the 2013-14 NBA season with minimal expectations from those on the outside looking in. After all, Dwight Howard departed for Houston and Kobe Bryant ruptured his Achilles tendon just six months ago.
Plus, the Lakers' core isn't getting any younger.
But with an entire offseason to digest, recover and add some new faces to the mix, the Lakers' organization no doubt has high hopes for the new season.
Below, we'll take a look at the latest news and notes surrounding the team.
Kobe Bryant Undergoes Another Knee Procedure
Recovery from a torn Achilles is what is holding Kobe Bryant back to start the 2013 NBA preseason, but the veteran figures he might as well have some work done on his aching knee while he's out.
According to USA Today's Sean Highkin, Bryant is in Germany receiving treatment on his right knee. Highkin points out that Kobe must fly to Germany for the procedure because it's not yet been approved by the FDA and consequently can't be done in America.
Here's a look at Bryant receiving the Orthokine treatment in Europe, per his official Instagram account:
It's still unclear as to when the Black Mamba will be ready to play for the Lakers this season. L.A. will open up the regular season against the crosstown rival Clippers on Oct. 29.
Wesley Johnson Listed as Day to Day with Bum Foot
Kobe Bryant isn't the only Laker itching to get back on the court this October. According to ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin, recently acquired forward Wesley Johnson has suffered a strained tendon in his left foot.
An MRI confirmed the extent of Johnson's injury on Monday. He suffered the strain late in Sunday's preseason loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni was quick to point out that Johnson has underachieved to start the preseason but added that he's confident the new addition will "get his rhythm," per McMenamin:
It could be two bad games, it could be just whatever. I told him today, if you look at the film -- and I don't think he's played well up to his potential -- but with him on the floor, we're a better team. He makes us better. So, that should be comforting that he doesn't have to press. But, we'll see. I think going forward, he'll get his rhythm.
Johnson, who signed with the Lakers this past July, has struggled to live up to the hype of being a former fourth overall draft pick in 2010. He's averaging just 7.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game on 40 percent shooting from the field for his three-year career.
Jordan Farmar Returns to Lakers Practice
Veteran point guard Jordan Farmar returned to action at Lakers practice on Monday, according to McMenamin's report.
Farmar, who missed Sunday's preseason loss to the Denver Nuggets with a sore calf, is steadily making his way back to 100 percent. The former UCLA star and first-round draft pick in 2006 is back in Hollywood for the first time since he helped the Lake Show to back-to-back NBA championships in 2009 and 2010.
He was signed as a free agent this past July to help add some depth to L.A.'s backcourt, per Lakers.com's Mike Trudell via Twitter:
Jordan Farmar is happy to be back in L.A.; said he feels like he’s grown a lot as a player. Will be asked to do more this season.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 6, 2013
Farmar was a key contributor for the Lakers' second unit during their most recent championship runs and will likely find himself in a more pivotal role behind Steve Nash in 2013-14.
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