Lamar Odom’s sore right foot is apparently just a bone bruise and he will play Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Odom and center Theo Ratliff both underwent MRIs on Monday for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ratliff’s knee was suffering from tendinitis and his MRI was apparently inconclusive, so he will undergo arthroscopic surgery today to determine what is causing his soreness. There is currently no timetable for Ratliff’s return.
For the Lakers, already minus center Andrew Bynum until at least mid-December, losing Ratliff and Odom would have been a huge blow. So the news on Odom is positive. The 31-year-old forward has been experiencing soreness in his foot for a while, but he thinks it may just be wear and tear. A bone bruise, while painful, is definitely a positive in this situation. Odom has been off to a fantastic start in his 12th NBA season, averaging 15.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, while shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 58.8 from three-point range.
As for Ratliff, he was brought in strictly as a defensive presence to spell Pau Gasol and Bynum from time to time. He’s averaged 8.4 minutes per game and has served his purpose thus far. But his injury might be a positive in one respect, as it will give rookie Derrick Caracter a chance to step up and get more minutes.
The Lakers clearly like what the 6’9, 275-pound Caracter brings to the table, so getting him a chance to see significant minutes before Bynum is back could be a big deal for the future.