EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -Los Angeles Lakers center Kwame Brown underwent reconstructive surgery on his left ankle Tuesday and might not be ready for the start of training camp in October.
The Lakers said that while Brown is expected to make a complete recovery, he won't return to playing status for a minimum of four months.
The operation was performed by Dr. David Porter in Indianapolis. Plans call for Brown to begin rehab in the next two weeks, and start running in six to eight weeks.
The 25-year-old Brown averaged 8.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and a career-best 1.2 blocked shots in 41 games last season. He missed the first seven games while recovering from an injured right shoulder and was healthy after that until severely spraining his left ankle Dec. 31, when he accidentally landed on the foot of Philadelphia's Andre Miller after blocking a shot.
Brown sat out the next 27 games before returning to action, then missed seven more games because of pain in his ankle. He returned for the final two games of the regular season, then averaged 8.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in the Lakers' first-round playoff series against Phoenix.
Brown has one year left on his contract. He will earn $9.1 million next season.
Brown is the second Los Angeles starter to have an operation this month. Forward Lamar Odom had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder May 15 and is expected to be ready for training camp. Odom averaged 15.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 56 games last season.
Brown and Odom were both considered trade possibilities during the offseason, but their operations might preclude that. The Lakers missed the playoffs in 2005 and were eliminated in the first round by Phoenix following each of the past two seasons.
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