The hope that the Lakers might be able to build off a long-awaited, almost healthy full roster was shattered after Metta World Peace was diagnosed with a lateral meniscus tear. His timetable for return is unlikely to include any part of the post-season, but an official timetable will be set after he meets with team doctor Steve Lombardo today in Los Angeles. At Lakers shootaround this morning, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, head coach Mike D’Antoni is not optimistic for World Peace’s return at any point this season.
D’Antoni was asked if he was “optimistic” about Metta World Peace returning this season: “No.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 27, 2013
So, what does this mean for tonight’s matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves? It was expected that we would see Earl Clark back in the starting line-up. Instead, Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News reports that Jodie Meeks will start in place of Metta World Peace, which means Kobe Bryant will slide to the three slot.
Mike D’Antoni said Jodie Meeks will start in place of Metta World Peace. Kobe Bryant slides to the 3.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 27, 2013
With Pau Gasol back in the starting line-up alongside Dwight Howard, the Lakers will still have two bigs in the post. Steve Nash will control the point, with Jodie Meeks at shooting guard.
After speaking with Metta World Peace last night, he seemed optimistic about his injury, but then again World Peace has never had a serious knee injury. Dr. Klapper, an orthopedic surgeon and friend of ours over at ESPN Radio, says that in the best case scenario, World Peace could have surgery to repair the tear and be back during the playoffs.
The Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 5PM in the Target Center and will head to Milwaukee after the game to prepare for the Bucks on Thursday night.
PREVIEW: Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves