Here is the official medical statement from the Lakers:
Lakers forward Lamar Odom was examined today by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo and MRI results show that Odom has a bone bruise in his right knee. Odom will not play in tonight’s game in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors, and his status beyond that is listed as day-to-day.
There’s some very good news here — it is not structural damage, so no surgery. (With Odom a free agent after the season, that is huge for him.) On a lesser note, seeing what Odom wears on the sidelines for the next week or three also will be entertaining.
How long Odom is out depends on the severity of the bruise. Complicating the matter a little is this is the same knee where Odom battles tendonitis. It could be a week, it could be a month. (There are also severe bone bruises that don’t heal for months, but the way he got this injury doesn’t really look like that.)
Bone bruises are called periosteal. To quote the Sports Injury Blog: What happens in a bone bruise is a compressive force pushes the in on itself. When this happens the outer layer of the bone, which is fibrous, breaks down. This leads to leaking of fluid.
Here’s what I do know. First, bone bruises hurt like a son of a %$$. And, you can’t do a ton until they heal, it just takes time.
On the court, this is why Josh Powell is getting paid. He is a very solid, professional NBA player who is going to have to step in — he can’t do all the things Odom can, but he can be a solid four off the bench. And that should be enough most nights.
Nomuskles and others said it in the comments — for all those that think Lamar Odom is holding this team back, have scapegoated him for the Lakers problems, you are about to see just how much they need him. It started last night.