Metta World Peace shocked the media at Monday’s Los Angeles Lakers practice by playing two-on-two and saying he was good to go. According to Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, World Peace was at 80-90 percent to play on Tuesday against the New Orleans Hornets.
Considering World Peace underwent knee surgery on Mar. 28 and was expected to miss a minimum of six weeks, everyone is shocked by World Peace’s return, save for World Peace. He could be back playing for the Lakers less than two weeks following surgery. That is remarkable, and the freak recovery was not lost on World Peace’s teammates.
“I call him Logan,” Kobe Bryant said. “He’s wolverine.”
Whereas World Peace is a medical miracle, Steve Nash continues to show his age. The 39-year-old point guard did not practice on Monday and was again doubtful for Tuesday’s home game. Considering the Lakers play a back-to-back in Portland on Wednesday, Nash is likely out of that game too.
Nash may be better off avoiding the game in Portland as it will likely conjure up haunting memories. Nash broke his leg on Halloween night when the Lakers last played in Portland. If Nash continues to miss games, Bryant will likely continue to log long minutes controlling the Lakers’ offense.
With regard to World Peace’s return, the Lakers will need to be cautious about over-using him on the back-to-back, but even if he is ruled out on Tuesday, he appears to be in line to return on Wednesday.
“It's unbelievable,” D’Antoni said at Monday’s practice. “Any modern medicine you have to throw everything out the window.”
For a team that has been battling injuries and bad news all season long, the Lakers have received a miracle recovery. However, the Lakers are still half a game back of Utah and currently not in control of their own destiny with regards to making the playoffs.
Only five games remain in the Lakers 2012-13 regular season, and the Lakers’ post-season qualificiation remains in doubt. That level of urgency is likely a contributing factor into World Peace’s startlingly quick return.