Not good news before Friday’s game against Detroit. Chris Mihm will have a second surgery on his right ankle and most likely is done for the season. A Lakers spokesman said Mihm was experiencing tendon problems in the ankle. The official announcement had him undergoing surgery to repair the deltoid ligament and posterior tibialis tendon in his right ankle.
The Lakers had been planning to go with a three-center rotation of Mihm, Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum this season. It will be interesting to see what happens with Mihm after the season. The Lakers have $17 million invested in Brown and realize that Bynum needs to play to get better.
By Ross Siler
Lakers center Chris Mihm will undergo a second surgery Tuesday on his injured right ankle and will need between five and eight months to recover.
The outlook is not good for Mihm to return this season, although Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said it was a possibility if the Lakers made a deep playoff run.
Mihm, who started 131 games at center the last two seasons, suffered a severe ankle sprain when he landed on Rashard Lewis foot in the final minute of the Lakers March 12 loss to Seattle.
He underwent surgery July 26 to clean up scar tissue was projected to return in time for training camp. But Mihms recovery stalled and he went to Baltimore this week to seek second and third opinions from doctors.
“We knew early on that it wasnt a run-of-the-mill ankle sprain, Kupchak said. “To his credit, he came back at the end of the regular season and tried to play – – I dont know how he did it.
“He approached this thing methodically. He rehabbed as hard or harder than anyone weve ever had. Were disappointed for him. We were looking forward to getting him back.
“And clearly its an important year for Chris, too. He wants to show that he belongs at a certain level at the center position in this league, being at the end of a contract.’
Mihm said in a statement that although he knew “a few months ago that there was a chance Id need such a surgery, it was my hope that through alternative methods and therapy, Id be able to join my Lakers teammates and make it through the season.
Kupchak said it was too early to talk about Mihms future with the Lakers. At seasons end, Mihm will be an unrestricted free agent. Kupchak did repeat the NBA maxim: “You can never have enough big men.
The Lakers will use a center rotation of 19-year-old Andrew Bynum and Kwame Brown for the season without Mihm.
Brown down: Although he hoped to play Friday, Brown still was experiencing problems with his injured right shoulder. Brown felt soreness in his neck after practice Thursday and said he would return to the doctor Monday.
“I dont think theyre going to find anything, Brown said. “I think with the injury I have, the muscles around the joint are just compensating, so its causing pain elsewhere.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he didnt feel comfortable playing Brown after watching him Thursday.
“He kept holding his shoulder, Jackson said. “Thats why hes been out. It was almost his neck more than his shoulder. Itll quiet down. It wasnt this way earlier in the week. It flared up. Hes been doing a lot of work and lifting a lot of weights and contact and playing again, the first couple times, creates that.