Often in the back ground, Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers was a vital component to the team's success, especially on the defensive end.
Metta World Peace, who slipped on a wet spot during Monday night’s game in Oakland, has suffered a torn lateral meniscus, the Lakers reported.
World Peace was unable to continue in the second half of the game against the Warriors due to the knee injury, and an MRI confirmed the injury on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Lakers announced that World Peace would undergo surgery by team doctors Steve Lombardo and Dan Kharrazi of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Group in Los Angeles on Thursday.
The recovery time was revealed to be a minimum of six weeks.
The Lakers finish their regular season exactly three weeks from the announcement, so World Peace will not be available for the remainder, and his post-season involvement would only become a possibility if the Lakers play deep into May.
With Jordan Hill already lost for the season, the Lakers now lack true power forwards. Although World Peace was undersized at the power forward position, his strength and physical presence provided the Lakers a much-needed tough attitude. His style of play will be especially missed during the playoffs, when referees allow greater physical contact than the regular season.
Without World Peace, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni will need to decide whether to start Earl Clark at small forward or move Jodie Meeks into the back court and slide Kobe Bryant into the small forward position.
Against the Warriors, Meeks played the entire fourth quarter, as the Lakers made a late comeback that ultimately fell short. Also, the three-point specialist started the second half for the Lakers when World Peace did not make it out of the locker room. As such, Meeks is the favorite to step into the starting lineup.
Following Monday's loss in Golden State, World Peace had not missed a single game due to injury. He had been moved to the bench on a few occasions and was suspended one game, but World Peace had fought through injuries to take part in 70 of the 71 games this season—most games played on the team.
Through 70 games, World Peace averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
Wednesday, the Lakers will begin life without World Peace against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 5 p.m. PT.