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Lakers' Devin Ebanks sidelined at least three weeks

The Lakers rookie has what the team called a stress fracture in his left tibia. Ebanks was averaging 3.1 points and 5.9 minutes in 20 games.

March 04, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers forward Devin Ebanks will miss the next weeks because of a stress fracture in his left leg.
Lakers forward Devin Ebanks will miss the next weeks because of a stress… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Lakers rookie Devin Ebanks will miss at least three weeks with what the team called a stress fracture in his left tibia.

It was the chair that ate Devin Ebanks.

The Lakers rookie was in a three-on-three scrimmage in Memphis four weeks ago when he careened into a courtside seat after landing off balance.

He felt pain in his lower left leg but pushed through it, continuing to play in games and take part in practices.

But his leg took a turn for the worse Thursday, and he was limping badly at practice. He will now miss at least three weeks with what the team called a stress fracture in his left tibia.

"The chair got me," Ebanks said. "It wasn't enough for me to sit out but [Thursday] in practice I couldn't run or jump like I usually do. That was a problem for me."

He hadn't been playing much in recent weeks, but now he won't play at all.

He was averaging 3.1 points and 5.9 minutes in 20 games, many of which were fourth-quarter blowouts. And yet, his athleticism could be seen in his brief time on the court, notably when he had eight points and scored on two alley-oop plays in a 104-80 victory over Atlanta on Feb. 22.

Barnes not back

Reserve forward Matt Barnes did not return to action Friday against Charlotte after feeling discomfort in his right knee during pregame warmups.

He is now listed as day to day.

He was expected to return after a 25-game absence. In fact, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said an hour before Friday's game that Barnes looked spry.

"He's in pretty good shape; he's a whippet," Jackson said. "He can get out there and run with those guys. His speed and his quickness and his activity level kind of infuses some energy on our second unit."

Barnes was averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.8 minutes a game before sustaining torn cartilage in his right knee. It was unclear whether he would try to play Sunday at San Antonio.

Technically speaking

The NBA sent a warning letter to Kobe Bryant after he picked up his 12th technical foul earlier this week, but he's in better shape than Orlando center Dwight Howard, who will be suspended for a game by the NBA after picking up his 16th technical foul.

"I hate to see a player miss a game because of it, a player of that caliber and a team that's fighting for a spot at this time of the year," Jackson said. "It's going to boil down to an important part of the season, and that's a problem."

Jackson was, however, on board with some sort of league regulation, remembering the season when Rasheed Wallace had 38 technical fouls before the league created the one-game suspension threshold of 16 technicals.

"He was just flaunting it, saying, 'I make so much money this doesn't even matter to me and I'm going to abuse the referees…' " Jackson said. "So the league had to come up with some remedy."

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

Times correspondent Mark Medina contributed to this report.

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