The All-Star break is that time of year when weary players get their last chance to rest before the NBA season kicks into high hear. Players like Matt Barnes will begin taking the final steps to recovery. He’s expected to be back on the court by early March. Players like Theo Ratliff, on the other hand, could be seeing their season cut short.
So much for those 4 to 6 weeks it was supposed to take Ratliff to return to the court. The L.A. Times reports that Ratliff’s knee problems are not getting any better. The center sought a second opinion from famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews and the news he received isn’t good.
Phil Jackson has said Ratliff will have to pretty much “start over his rehab”. Not the best news for a team that could use all the help it can get. After Ratliff went down with the injury the Lakers’ frontline became very thin with both Theo and Andrew Bynum out. GM Mitch decided to stand pat instead of making a move to acquire another big. This news, nor the team’s recent woes, has changed Kupchak’s views. He’s on the record saying it is unlikely he’ll make any moves before the deadline.
Overall, the loss of Ratliff isn’t a huge concern but it would be nice to have another big body for the playoffs. His defensive presence will be missed most of all as it seems only Bynum has any concern for defending the rim. Just toss this bad news into an ever growing pile mounting at the feet of the Lakers. Nobody said pulling off a three-peat was going to be easy.