Artest's thumb heavily wrapped

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's been a story of all hands on wreck for the Lakers this year and Ron Artest is the latest player for Los Angeles to come down with a finger injury.

Artest sprained the thumb on his left hand in the third quarter of the Lakers' game in Miami on Thursday. He played on Friday against the Bobcats with the thumb wrapped heavily in the same fashion that reserve guard Shannon Brown has on his right thumb after spraining it while blocking a shot in the second half against Indiana on Tuesday.

Artest also sprained the index finger on his right hand on Jan. 12 in a game in San Antonio.

"We've had a series of hand injuries," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before Friday's game. "It seems to be a hand-injury year. It started off with Kobe [Bryant's], then Pau [Gasol's], and ultimately we've had a rash of them with Jordan [Farmar], Shannon and then Ron last night.

"There's some guys with hand injuries, that's part of the game and you just have to adjust how to play with them."
Bryant suffered an avulsion fracture on the right index finger of his shooting hand on Dec. 11 against Minnesota. Before the injury he was shooting a career-high 49.3 percent from the field. His field-goal percentage has dipped since, to 46.0 percent.

Farmar has suffered injuries to his right thumb as well as a sprained joint on his left pinkie. Gasol had surgery to repair a torn volar plate on the index finger of his left hand before the season began. Lakers sixth man Lamar Odom has also battled multiple sprains to his right index and middle fingers.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com