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LAKER REPORT

Shaq Cleared for Friday

November 20, 2002|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

DALLAS — Shaquille O'Neal was cleared by Dr. Robert Mohr to return to the Lakers on Friday night against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center, according to O'Neal's agent, Perry Rogers.

O'Neal, who had surgery on his big right toe Sept. 11, had targeted Friday's game, pending clearance by Mohr, who performed the procedure.

According to Rogers, Mohr "feels great about" O'Neal's recovery, despite the soreness that lingered on the underside of the toe well into the rehabilitation. That has recently subsided, O'Neal said, as Mohr predicted it would.

O'Neal, who will be examined by Mohr again Thursday after the trip through Dallas and San Antonio, said he would not play before seeing Mohr, who is expected to attend Friday's game.

Rogers said Mohr had made some final adjustments to the orthotics gear O'Neal wears, and that those devices should be ready in time for Friday's game.

Without him, the Lakers have lost eight of 11 games. .

"I'm not a savior," O'Neal insisted before Tuesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks. "However, I think I can bring their spirits back up."

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The Lakers will retire a jersey with Chick Hearn's name on it in a ceremony Sunday night. Jerry West and Hearn's widow, Marge, are expected to attend.... Devean George (ankle) and Mark Madsen (hamstring) made the trip, but did not dress. Madsen is on the injured list.

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TONIGHT

at San Antonio, 5:30 PST, Channel 9

Site -- SBC Center

Radio -- KLAC (570), KWKW (1330)

Records -- Lakers 3-8, Spurs 7-4.

Record vs. Spurs -- (2001-02) 3-1.

Update -- Since losing three of four games, the Spurs have won two straight, both against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers, of course, lost to the Cavaliers by 19 points two weeks ago at Cleveland. The Spurs beat the Lakers, 87-82, on opening night at Staples Center. Forward Tim Duncan, held to 14 points in that game, is averaging 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds. Guard Steve Smith, who had a strained groin and sat out seven games, returned Monday night against Cleveland. Center David Robinson is one of 11 NBA players to have amassed 20,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.

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