World Peace to undergo surgery, out six weeks

MINNEAPOLIS  – The Lakers lost another starter Wednesday for a long time.

Metta World Peace will be sidelined at least six weeks after he undergoes surgery Thursday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, the team announced Wednesday.

World Peace will miss the final 11 games of the Lakers’ regular season, which ends April 17.

The earliest he’ll return would be for the Western Conference semifinals, which makes two large assumptions — that the Lakers make the playoffs and somehow advance past the first round.

World Peace’s absence certainly won’t help the Lakers, who are already shaky defensively.

“It’s tough to offset it, but everybody has to pick up the slack,” Dwight Howard said. “That’s all we can do.”

World Peace was apparently injured after slipping on a wet spot at Oracle Arena in the Lakers’ 109-103 loss Monday to Golden State.

He optimistically said Tuesday on Twitter he might be back in a week and a half, a view that was immediately met with skepticism by the Lakers. The tweet was quickly deleted.

Jodie Meeks will start for the Lakers on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, taking World Peace’s spot in the lineup.

Kobe Bryant will now guard opposing teams’ small forwards.