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Magic to Miss 3 Games, but It's Not Too Serious

October 27, 1987|GORDON EDES | Times Staff Writer

Magic Johnson, who was examined Monday in Los Angeles, will miss the Lakers' next three exhibition games, including tonight's game against the New Jersey Nets in Nashville, Tenn.

But for the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that Johnson will be forced to miss regular-season games because of chronic tendinitis in his left Achilles' tendon, according to Dr. Robert Kerlan.

"He's had this kind of trouble for the past three to four years, off and on," Kerlan said after seeing Johnson. "Last year, on, for a good deal. Obviously, we'd like to get rid of it if we can."

To do so, Kerlan and Johnson are working with Converse to design a shoe to alleviate the stress on Johnson's left foot. Last weekend, the Laker guard tried a new shoe in which the heel was raised by building onto the shoe from the outside, but he complained of continued soreness and sat out the second half of Saturday's game in Chapel Hill, N.C. The next day, Johnson flew back to Los Angeles.

Kerlan said that the shoe required further modifications, including making it lighter. The one Johnson wore last weekend was 3 1/2 ounces heavier than the one he had been wearing, Kerlan said.

In addition, Johnson is undergoing physical therapy in an attempt to reduce the swelling and discomfort.

Asked whether Johnson would have to rest more this season--he played in 98 games, including the playoffs, in the 1986-87 season--Kerlan said:

"I wouldn't say that at this point. It's really a little too early for that. We're trying to treat this as effectively as we can. . . . I don't want to make this (sound like) a worse thing than it is. Hopefully, it will respond."

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