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Pro Basketball | CLIPPER REPORT

Odom Says His Return Is on Target

November 30, 2002|Elliott Teaford | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Corey Maggette underwent arthroscopic surgery Friday to remove damaged cartilage from his right knee and is expected to sit out for at least one month. It means Maggette will be set to return not long after fellow small forward Lamar Odom is scheduled to be back on the floor.

"Hopefully, we'll have everybody back on the floor by mid-January," said Odom, sidelined by a sprained right wrist and ankle since going on the injured list Jan. 24. "We want to be going strong heading into the All-Star break."

With that in mind, Odom and the Clippers are taking a cautious approach to his return. Odom said his ankle, which he sprained in January and re-injured during the off-season, is much improved. He had an MRI exam and visited recently with a specialist, who determined that all was well.

"I'm on target," Odom said, referring to his expected return near Christmas. "My lateral movement is not good, but it's getting there. It's not as strong as I want it to be, but I want to get back.... I want my ankle to be ready. I don't want to be out there struggling with an ankle injury. I want to wait until it's ready."

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Coach Alvin Gentry on the raucous atmosphere at Arco Arena, where the Kings went into Friday's game against the Clippers with a 7-0 record: "It's like a college atmosphere here and they feed off that. It's by far the loudest arena in the NBA."

He said he has no desire to begin a feud with King fans the way Laker Coach Phil Jackson has.

"I don't mess with them," Gentry said. "I think it's great the support [the Kings] get from their fans."

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