MINNEAPOLIS — For all the unpredictability surrounding this season, there’s one area where the Lakers have remained uncomfortably consistent.
They continue to pile up significant injuries.
The latest victim: Lakers forward Metta World Peace had an MRI Tuesday in Minneapolis that showed a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee.
“First ever knee injury,” World Peace posted in a tweet that has since been deleted. “Recovery time hopefully is a week and a half.”
The Lakers aren’t as optimistic.
World Peace will travel back to Los Angeles where team doctor Steve Lombardo will evaluate him Wednesday. The Lakers will then provide a timetable for his absence, which will include the team’s game Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Former Lakers forward Matt Barnes had a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee in the 2010-11 season. The surgery and subsequent rehab sidelined him for 26 games.
“I can’t wait to get back,” World Peace tweeted. “But our team is so good. We will win and get into the playoffs.”
That might not happen.
The Lakers (36-35) only have a one-game lead over the Utah Jazz (35-36) for the eighth playoff spot with 11 games remaining.
World Peace’s left knee injury happened during an unspecified play in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 109-103 loss Monday to the Golden State Warriors. He missed the entire second half after Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said World Peace alerted him about the injury.
“He said he felt fluid in the back of his knee,” D’Antoni said.
Lakers backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks started in place of World Peace to begin the second half, though his absence could also create more minutes for Earl Clark. He lost his starting power forward spot to Pau Gasol for the past two games and has since played at backup small forward.
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