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LAKER NOTES

Fox to Have Surgery on Monday

May 08, 2003|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

SAN ANTONIO — Rick Fox has scheduled his foot surgery for Monday in New York, a procedure he hopes will have him back on the floor within six months.

The surgeons are expected to repair a tendon in Fox's left foot and align his heel. Dr. Jonathan Deland, chief of foot and ankle services at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and another specialist, Dr. William Hamilton, will perform the surgery.

Fox said he would leave the team Saturday, and that it would be four or five days before he could return after surgery, assuming it proceeds as expected.

As for the particulars, Fox smiled and said, "I stopped listening after they said they were going to cut open my foot.

"MRI's and X-rays will tell one story. It's really not until you open it up and get in there until you see the damage.... Sometimes you get in there and you're pleased to find it's not as bad as you think. So, as for updates on recovery time or return, it'd probably be best waiting until after the surgery."

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Devean George, who sprained his left ankle in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, was improved Wednesday. Phil Jackson said he was "hopeful" George would be available for Game 3, and if not, at some point in the series.

By game time Wednesday, George's ankle had less swelling, and he was less dependent on crutches. He watched Game 2 while holding a box that fed electrical stimulus to the ankle.

Jackson said he hoped the Lakers could "extend the series long enough that he can be a factor."

*

A fan near the Laker bench startled everyone in the second quarter when he charged to the baseline before one of Shaquille O'Neal's free throws.

While referees and security personnel frantically moved toward the man, he unfurled a poster of a woman in a bikini, and O'Neal held off shooting the free throw.

*

When Jackson last found his team behind, two games to none, in a best-of-seven series, the 1994 Chicago Bulls had lost twice to the New York Knicks, won the next two, then lost the pivotal Game 5.

The game turned, Jackson recalled with some displeasure, when "[referee] Hue Hollins called a foul on Scottie Pippen at the buzzer

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sat six rows behind the Laker bench.

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