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Friday, March 28, 2008
Fisher plays despite tendon tear in right foot

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Derek Fisher has a partial tear of a tendon in his right foot and the Los Angeles Lakers guard plans to play through it.

He was hurt changing direction in Wednesday's 108-95 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, but played in Friday night's 114-111 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Derek Fisher

Fisher

Point Guard
Los Angeles Lakers

Profile

2008 Season Stats
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
72 12.0 2.1 2.9 .436 .876
"I feel pretty good, definitely good enough to see if I can help the team," he said before the game.

"That's basically what the decision is going to be based on, how I feel out there and whether I can really be effective enough to be a positive influence on helping us win games. At any point I start to feel like I can't do that, then I'll make a decision."

The type of injury Fisher has typically requires 6-to-8 weeks of rest, but with the Lakers tied for second in a tight Western Conference playoff race, they can little afford to lose him. Fisher is averaging 12 points and 2.9 assists. He had played all 72 games going into Friday.

"Initially, it's going to be an effort to play through it," coach Phil Jackson said. "Medically, he's been given the OK to try and play through it. There's no more extenuating things that can possibly happen and it's related to pain more than it is to something that would be a disability."

Fisher said he first began feeling tightness in his foot a couple weeks ago, although the actual injury occurred Wednesday.

"There may have been symptoms prior to that," he said. "There was definitely something going on that just kind of flew under the radar that ultimately led to the tendon kind of popping a little bit. I plan on just going. We need all the bodies that we have available."

Kobe Bryant is playing with a torn ligament in his right pinkie finger, center Pau Gasol is out with a sprained left ankle and starting center Andrew Bynum has missed more than two months with an injured left knee.

Lamar Odom has a respiratory infection and said before Friday's game that he did not feel well, although he was a listed starter.

Also weighing on the Lakers is Bryant being a technical foul away from an automatic one-game suspension if he picks up his 16th in the last 10 regular-season games.

He received two against Charlotte.

"I notified him that he was at the brink about to sink," Jackson said. "We just talked about the fact that we appreciate his energy that he puts into the ballgame, but equanimity is important and this is a good time to practice it."

Bryant had 14 technical fouls last season and 15 in 2005-06.