Huffpost Los Angeles

Metta World Peace's Injury Healing Fast, Says Lakers Coach Mike D'Antonio

Posted: Updated:
METTA WORLD PEACE INJURY
Metta World Peace's knee injury is healing faster than anticipated. | Getty Images

By Mark Medina and Vincent Bonsignore

Staff Writers

Lakers forward Metta World Peace walked down a Staples Center hallway in full stride and was bearing a wide smile.

He insisted he can return when the Lakers host the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday at Staples Center despite having surgery to treat a lateral meniscus tear on his left knee a little more than a week ago.

"I've been ready to play," World Peace told this newspaper following the Lakers' 109-95 loss Sunday to the Clippers at Staples Center. "I could've played today."

Not so fast.

The Lakers plan to have World Peace run today at 90 percent of his body weight on an elliptical machine before evaluating whether he can run with full body weight Tuesday. It's likely he'll then have to go through at least a practice before returning.

Still, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni described World Peace's progression as "way ahead of schedule." The Lakers estimated he'd sit out at least six weeks. But World Peace spent the past three days running and the past two participating in shooting exercises.

How did he progress so quickly?

"I'm good," said World Peace, who's missed the last six games. "I'm not a (wimp)."

It also helps World Peace reported no swelling in his knee.

"I was walking a day after (surgery). I only used the crutches because I was lazy," World Peace said. "I was ready to go."

Still, one person remained unimpressed.

"A real dude from New York would be back right now," ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy joked as he walked past World Peace. "I saw you moving out there. You looked good."

Self-evaluation

Even with persisting injuries and lacking a training camp when he took over five games into the season, D'Antoni insisted they should be among the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Lakers (40-37) are behind the Utah Jazz (41-37) for the eighth playoff seed.

"We don't fear anyone. We can beat anybody," D'Antoni said. "But we've had a hard time sustaining our energy."

Injury update

Lakers guard Steve Nash missed his third consecutive game because of soreness in his right hip and right hamstring. He said he remains unsure if he will return Tuesday against New Orleans. ___

Also on HuffPost:

Close
2012-13 NBA Highlights
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Metta World Peace Injury Update | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE LOS ...

Metta World Peace injury: Lakers forward tears meniscus - SB Nation

Metta World Peace injury: Lakers forward to undergo knee surgery ...

Injury Update: Metta World Peace « Lakers Blog

MWP Could Be Back by the Weekend

Steve Nash doubtful for next game; World Peace ahead of schedule

Lakers News: Steve Nash, Metta World Peace Out With Injuries; When Will The ...

Metta World Peace Injury: Lakers Star Out 6 Weeks, Needs Knee Surgery