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LAKERS FYI

Doctors advise surgery for Farmar

December 23, 2008|Mike Bresnahan

MEMPHIS, TENN. — Two Los Angeles doctors concurred that Jordan Farmar needs surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee, leaving the injured Lakers guard to determine the time, date and doctor for the procedure.

There's a slight chance Farmar would wait to see whether the injury felt better on its own, though team doctor Steve Lombardo and L.A.-area knee specialist Byron Patterson each said Farmar should undergo a surgery that could sideline him up to eight weeks.

"We're not happy about it, obviously, but this is what we go through in an NBA season," Coach Phil Jackson said. "These timetables can be four to six [weeks], six to eight [weeks]. We're looking at a time period that's significant."

Farmar, averaging 7.9 points and 2.4 assists in 19.6 minutes, was injured after stealing the ball and going in for a layup Friday at Miami.

The Lakers have the option of adding a 15th player to their roster, probably a veteran guard who would alleviate the extra minutes currently being heaped onto Derek Fisher.

Fisher, 34, played another 41 minutes Monday against Memphis after logging 41 Saturday against Orlando.

"We're really looking at someone that can help Fish manage his time," Jackson said. "The number of quick, small guards in the league right now has increased significantly, so we'll probably look at someone's quickness and speed, not size."

Veteran possibilities include Tyronn Lue, who spent his first three NBA seasons with the Lakers and is logging only 11.7 minutes a game with the Milwaukee Bucks, and Jannero Pargo, who is playing in Russia and could be a challenge to sign because of his contract with Dynamo Moscow.

The Lakers are not expected to sign Coby Karl or Joe Crawford, Jackson said. Both players were waived by the Lakers at the end of the exhibition season.

The Lakers could also stand pat and see how Sasha Vujacic does after moving from shooting guard to backup ballhandling guard.

"I think Sasha can push that ball with a level that's OK," Jackson said. "Decision-making, that's a different story."

Vujacic had three points and an assist in 13 minutes against Memphis.

Donations accepted

As part of Pau Gasol's return to Memphis, a local reporter asked Jackson whether he understood why some NBA coaches considered the Gasol trade to have been a "donation."

"We understand it. Remember, we got rid of Shaq a few years ago and they won a championship [in Miami]," he said in reference to Shaquille O'Neal. "You have to give up talent to do things that straighten the organization out, to restructure the talent pool."

Only a rookie?

Memphis guard O.J. Mayo, in his first year out of USC, had 22 points and six assists against the Lakers.

He made five of nine shots from three-point range.

"I think that he is terrific," Kobe Bryant said. "I saw him play when he came out of high school. I have worked out with him, and he has a great work ethic and all-around skill. I don't have any doubt that he will be a star in this league."

Mayo leads the Grizzlies with 20.3 points a game and is averaging 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

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