Metta World Peace Injury Leaves Lakers Defense Looking Suspect

While Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard have all missed significant time recovering from various injuries, Metta World Peace has been a near-guarantee to show up in the Lakers lineup. However, according to ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers rash of injuries has now hit their most durable player.

The Los Angeles Lakers' snake-bit season continued Tuesday with Metta World Peace receiving an MRI exam in Minneapolis that showed a cartilage tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee.

World Peace will return to Los Angeles, where he will be examined Wednesday by team doctor Steve Lombardo, forcing him to miss that night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. An update, including a timetable for his return, will be issued at the conclusion of his examination, according to the team.

While World Peace isn't the lockdown defender he was in his prime, he is one of the Lakers better defenders at a time when their defensive effort is getting slammed by insiders and outsiders. Not even Bryant has been immune to the criticism. In the meantime, Earl Clark, who has started 33 games this season at Gasol's power forward spot, will pick up the slack.

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