Jordan Hill might make it back to play for the Lakers, but only if they are… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
The Lakers might get Jordan Hill back this season but they're going to need a deep playoff run to see their reserve forward/center in the lineup.
Hill was declared out for the season after a Jan. 6 hip injury that required surgery on Jan. 23 to repair a torn labrum and damaged cartilage.
After a follow-up visit this week with Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville, Tenn., Hill was given the green light to start work on the treadmill.
Once he goes through the initial steps and is cleared for running and jumping, Hill will be able to participate in on-court basketball drills.
The Lakers anticipate he'll need an additional three to four weeks after that before he's cleared to play in games.
The team has three regular-season games left at Staples Center. The Lakers will make the playoffs as long as they stay at least one game ahead of the ninth-place Utah Jazz.
In the first round the Lakers likely would draw either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs.
For Hill to make it back this postseason, the Lakers might need to advance as far as the Western Conference finals, if each series takes about two weeks to complete.
Hill played in 29 games this season, averaging 15.8 minutes of action. While his 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds might not necessarily stand out, his rebounds-per-minute average was among the best in the league.
On Sunday, Kobe Bryant noted how badly the team missed Hill when the Lakers were drastically outrebounded (50-36) by the Clippers in a 109-95 loss.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.