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Lakers Lose Backup Center Gudmundsson to Back Surgery

November 06, 1986|SAM McMANIS | Times Staff Writer

Laker reserve center Petur Gudmundsson, bothered by back pain since the start of training camp, will undergo surgery Monday to repair a herniated disk and will be out for the season, it was determined Wednesday.

A Laker spokesman said that Gudmundsson's injury, which will require the surgical removal of the damaged portion of the disk, could be career threatening. The 7-2 Gudmundsson will begin rehabilitation in six weeks, but Dr. Bob Watson, the Lakers' back specialist, said he is definitely out for the season.

Jerry West, the Lakers' general manager, said Wednesday night he hopes to have a replacement center/power forward by today.

"We're trying to do something right now and we should have an answer in the morning," said West, who indicated he is considering a few big men recently released by teams, as well as working on trades. "It's the caliber of player we'd want to take a look at for a while. Hopefully, we'd keep him for the whole season."

Gudmundsson, who signed with the Lakers March 18, 1985 after playing in the Continental Basketball Assn., averaged 7.3 points in 8 regular-season games and 3.5 points in 12 playoff games last season. Gudmundsson, 28, first complained of back spasms two days into training camp in Palm Desert, and he missed the entire exhibition season.

The Lakers might sign a second power forward if they decide to place A.C. Green on the injured list. Green tore a ligament in his left thumb a week before the season started and made his first appearance with the aid of a splint in Tuesday night's 110-96 win over Seattle. He missed two shots and grabbed one rebound in four minutes but was limited and tentative while having to play with the cumbersome splint.

West said he will meet with Coach Pat Riley today to decide whether to place Green on the injured list, which frees a roster spot for a minimum of five games.

Said Riley after Tuesday night's game: "From what he showed tonight, A.C. has to make the adjustment to that splint. Otherwise, he probably can't play for four to six weeks."

"I think it's asking too much for him to be back playing with that (splint) this soon," West said.

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