Metta World Peace will be back in action for the Lakers tonight. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
Metta World Peace will play Tuesday against New Orleans, 12 days after undergoing surgery for torn cartilage in his left knee.
Steve Nash, however, will not play for the Lakers and was doubtful for Wednesday's game at Portland, Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Tuesday marks the fourth game Nash has been sidelined because of hip and hamstring soreness. He sat out most of two other games because of the injuries.
World Peace's return will ease the load for Kobe Bryant, D'Antoni said. Bryant has played 47, 43, 47 and 48 minutes, respectively, in the last four games.
"We get Metta back and that'll give us eight [rotation] guys and he'll take some minutes off of Kobe and take some minutes off of Pau [Gasol]," D'Antoni said.
World Peace is averaging 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds. Nash is averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 assists.
The Lakers (40-37) trail Utah by half a game for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Lakers: Week 24 predictions
Steve Nash doubtful for Tuesday against New Orleans Hornets
Metta World Peace could play Tuesday, much earlier than expected