In what figures to be an NBA version of a rehab assignment that regularly occurs in Major League Baseball, Lakers forward Derrick Caracter will begin his comeback from a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee by playing for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ D-League affiliate.
The Lakers announced Wednesday that Caracter, a second-year veteran who averaged 2.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.2 minutes as a rookie last season, has been assigned to the D-Fenders and will be available to play Thursday against the Bakersfield Jam.
Caracter suffered the meniscus tear on the fourth day of Lakers training camp and has not appeared in a game this season. Caracter’s recovery escalated from running on an altered-gravity treadmill, to full weight-bearing running and practice drills in the last week. On Tuesday night Caracter tweeted, “Cleared for full contact.”
The No. 58 selection in the 2010 draft out of the University of Texas El Paso was twice assigned to the D-League last season. Caracter averaged 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 19.7 minutes in the first stint and in his second run, two playoff games with Bakersfield; he averaged 7.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.50 blocks in 21.5 minutes.