Odom will try to play Friday despite sore left shoulder
By Broderick Turner
Los Angeles Times
Lamar Odom gingerly eased his way out of the Lakers' training room Thursday and onto the fringes of the team's practice court, with his left shoulder noticeably stiff.
Odom said his shoulder was "sore today" from a hard fall he took early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's win at Phoenix.
When asked if he could play Friday against the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center, Odom replied: "I'll try."
Odom didn't practice Thursday, preferring to get treatment. He was asked if he could lift his arms over his head, but Odom declined.
"I'm going to have to play right-handed. That would be kind of crazy," Odom said jokingly, knowing that he is a left-hander who rarely moves to the right with the ball even when he's healthy. "I don't know how I'm going to pull that one off. But, I think I'm going to try. It feels like a sprained ankle, my shoulder does."
Odom reported no swelling in the shoulder.
"It's stiff," he said. "It's painful. It hurts."
Odom scored on a layup against the Suns when he crashed onto the court and hit his left elbow. He stayed down for a few minutes, unable to get up until Lakers trainer Gary Vitti came over during a timeout with 10:02 left in the game. Odom returned to the game.
After the flight back to Los Angeles, Odom said he was unable to sleep because of his shoulder pain until around 4:30 a.m.
He'll get more treatment before Friday's game and hopes to be ready to play.
Odom was asked again if he could lift his shoulder.
"Yeah, I can lift it," said Odom, who refused to do it.
Odom is third on the Lakers in scoring (15.6) this season, second in rebounding (9.5), second in shooting percentage (57%), second in minutes played (34.8) and third in assists (3.1).
The Lakers expect him to be in action Friday.
"I think he'll be able to play," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "It's a problematic kind of thing that's going to be affecting him for a while.
"It shouldn't affect his activity. Obviously it's about reaching. [His] shooting might be affected because of the length of his shot and the follow-through."
The Lakers have won two straight games, but Jackson cautioned not to make a "mountain out of a molehill" because of recent victories or losses.
"Things look great or bad, depending on wins or losses in this game," Jackson said. "It's good to win a game, but it's still a lot of movement [for this team] to make as far as coming back to the way that we have to play."
Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol both got technical fouls against Phoenix. Kobe Bryant picked up five technical fouls in a six-game span recently.
Jackson said he's not happy about the high rate of technical fouls.
"I don't think it's part of what we want to do in a game as far as good sportsmanship," Jackson said. "But we really have to measure ourselves as far as what our temperament is."
Fisher will receive the 2010 Sportsman of the Year award from the Los Angeles Sports Council. Fisher, who won his fifth NBA championship with the Lakers in June, will be presented with the award Feb. 24 at the L.A. Sports Awards. The award is given to the local male athlete for sportsmanship during a calendar year.
DJ Mbenga, the 7-foot center who was a fan favorite with the Lakers the last two seasons and now plays for the Hornets, will be presented with his 2010 championship ring Friday.