|Lakers' Trevor Ariza out 8 weeks with broken foot; Mbenga signs|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 January 2008 17:20|
Ariza fractured a bone in his foot at practice Sunday, and was examined Monday by foot specialist Dr. Ken Jung, who set the timeline for his return. Ariza has averaged 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 24 games since being acquired from Orlando on Nov. 20 for Brian Cook and Maurice Evans.
``It's just another obstacle in the road, but it happens on every team,'' the 22-year-old Ariza said before Monday night's game against Denver. ``I think our team has enough character to where we can pull through this time, and I'm sure we'll find a way to win.
``It's definitely tough for anybody who wants to help their team to sit out. But I can't be bitter about it. I can just take the punches as they come, play my part, and just cheer my team on.''
Bynum injured his left kneecap Jan. 13 against Memphis and isn't expected to return before the middle of March. The Lakers also have been playing without center Chris Mihm (sore right Achilles' tendon) and forward Vladimir Radmanovic (sprained right ankle). The Lakers hope both will be back in the next few weeks.
``We'll just have to work our way through this,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said . ``Trevor was playing really well and he's going to have to sit out a couple months.''
While lamenting his team's latest injury, Lakers forward Lamar Odom said that sort of thing is part of the game.
``Every time we go out there, that could be the last time,'' Odom said. ``Hopefully these guys heal fast and get back out there. It's tough, sometimes it takes the breath out of you, especially when you're playing so well. We have to find some way to recover.''
The Lakers entered Monday night's game having won 17 of their previous 21 games, having split two games without Bynum.
Hoping to compensate for the absence of Bynum and Mihm, the Lakers signed free-agent center DJ Mbenga to a 10-day contract. The 7-footer from the Congo was released by Golden State on Jan. 6.
Mbenga was averaging 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.63 blocked shots and 8.1 minutes in 16 games with the Warriors. He spent three seasons with Dallas before being waived Oct. 30. He was limited to 21 games last season because of a left foot tendon strain and a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.