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Friday, March 14, 2014
Lamar Odom's back injury hurts comeback

By Marc Stein

After playing in just two games, Lamar Odom's comeback in Spain is on hold because of a back injury.

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Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Friday that Odom is expected to miss at least a month because of the persistent back issue, which prompted his new Spanish team to allow Odom to return to the United States this week for further evaluation and treatment.

Because Odom only signed a two-month contract with Laboral Kutxa Baskonia, sources said, it is still being determined whether he will return to the club before the end of the Spanish season.

After a long layoff, Odom signed the two-month deal with Baskonia on Feb. 18. But he played in only two games for the Vitoria-based club that has sent the likes of Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, Tiago Splitter and Jose Calderon to the NBA, logging just 23 minutes in those appearances.

Earlier this week, Baskonia issued a club statement saying Odom had permission to leave to see a back specialist in New York after initially undergoing tests in Spain.

The two-month contract does include an option for Baskonia to extend the contract through he rest of the Spanish season, which has another two months to run. Such deals typically contain out clauses that allow established veterans such as Odom to return to the NBA if the opportunity arises, but ESPN.com reported last month that Odom's plan was to play out the rest of the 2013-14 campaign in Europe before determining whether to make an NBA comeback.

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